Accueil > Research > Theme 2. The fabrication of otherness, racism and discriminations

Program 2.2. Immigration and minority situations : policy, discourse, and mobilizations

- Researchers : E. Cunin, G. Frigoli, Y. Gastaut, G. Ivaldi, C. Médard, A. Morice, A. Rabaud, J. Streiff-Fénart
- Associated researchers : A. Berghamaschi, J. Gartner, M. Manier, M. Nayrac
- Doctoral students : M. Clergeau, C. Gourdeau, Im Ahn Bak Ne, M. Lejeune, P. Montvalon, M. Petitjean, H. Sanders

The enduring establishment, in Europe in particular, of the “question of immigration” in the public arena provides another framework for deciphering the experiences and practices of production and management of otherness, from a historical point of view as well as through a contemporary approach, combining macro- and micro-sociological levels.

The first part of this program examines, in a broad sense, the construction and the problematization within the public sphere of issues related to otherness : “immigrants”, of course, but more generally, ethnic, religious, cultural, national identity of groups construed as minorities, considered as the result of dynamic process of social, historical, and political construction. Immigrants, indigenous or autochtone peoples are, according to each case, “groups” whose placement in a minority situation creates a problem. Their categorization defines them as political « objects » of both public action (politics) and of discourse and methods of management (policy). From a historical angle, these processes of creation of otherness can be perceived in the diffusion and the persistence of constructed images, prejudice, and stereotypes associated with immigration in political space and in the media. The research program ECRIN (Screens and Inequality) : “Arabs in French media from 1963 to the present”, coordinated by URMIS and in which several researchers of the department participated, aims precisely in studying constructed images visible in television and cinema.

As legitimate agents of categorization, the State and its diverse institutional ramifications play a fundamental role on the national level. The effects of the reorientation of migratory policy can also be perceived on the local level through the analysis of the definition, implementation and evaluation of public action, on the one hand, and of modes of political management of cohabitation between indigenous peoples and immigrants and/or minority groups, on the other. This analysis includes a large range of producers – leaders, political movements, interest groups, medias, institutional actors, residents, professionals in the sectors of social work, culture, or education - , as well as a multitude of modes of production or local uses (discourse, legislation, daily demonstrations, implication in non-profit groups).
Another strand of research will focus its attention on the actions that dispute unequal social orders brought about by these classifications, the arrangements and resistances offered by actors in collective mobilizations, which generate identities and forms of otherness, intending to transform minority situations.

These questions will be addressed through the following studies :

- Issues of immigration and « de-radicalization » of extreme right parties and right-wing populist parties in Europe (G. Ivaldi)
- The platform of extreme right parties in France (G. Frigoli)
- The evolution and historical foundation of immigration policies in France (J. Streiff-Fénart)
- New concerted policies of border control (A. Morice)
- Ethnic voting and political violence in Kenya and in Uganda (C. Médard)
- Inter-minority relations in French urban space (A. Rabaud)
- Policies of parental aid in local public action (M. Manier)
- Nation building, migrations, and otherness in Mexico and Central America (E. Cunin)
- The gendered representation of « the Arab » in French audiovisual media (M. Manier)
- The treatment of otherness in French media (G. Frigoli)
- Mainstream music and immigration in French media (Y. Gastaud)
- The modification of the image of Maghrebi immigration transmitted in French televisione (J. Gartner et M. Nayrac)
- The construction of « Arabness » through images in France (A. Berghamaschi)

Doctoral theses in progress : The integration contract for immigrants in France (C. Gourdeau) ; La reference to Islam in collective Maghrebi struggles in France (M. Lejeune) ; Foreign prostitutes in France (P. Montvalon) ; Social history of foreign atheletes in France (M. Petitjean) ; Social treatment of immigration in South Korea (Im Ahn Bak Ne) ; Representation of French-speaking black Africa among French expatriates (M. Clergeau) ; Urban citizenship of migrants in “immigrant-friendly” cities in the United States (H. Sanders)