441.5 Minorities' integration process: French case analysis

Friday, August 3, 2012: 9:40 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Daniela SAMPAIO , Sociology Department, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
This work aims to demonstrate a minority’s integrative process to a new state, nation, and society. Based on the adaptation of Ager and Strang Conceptual Framework for Migrants, this work proposes a new conceptual arrangement capable of analyzing the integration of newcomer groups already settled, considering, therefore, their subsequent generations. The French case is addressed as exemplary for the application and comparison of these two arrangements.  In the first moment, the economical nature of migration, the establishment of the group in temporary and distanced housings, and their non-intention of setting in France, characterized the way the group was received and perceived by the host society. With the end of the Migration Program in 1974, the Muslims workers decided to settle at the hexagon, constituting a new minority. As France traditionally assimilates, formally and substantively, foreign populations inside the nation in a two-generation-space, the second and third generations necessarily would be totally French. Although the jus solis guaranteed the formal assimilation, providing the citizenship that connected citizens to the state; the substantive assimilation was not achieved. This non-integration could be perceived by the political decentralization and lack of legitimate political representativeness, by the high unemployment rates and criminality, and by the low educational level of this specific group, when compared to the host population. The political and socio-economical marginalization is intensified by the non-identification of the group with the values of French nation. Hence, Islam starts to be culturally appropriated by those who was not feeling completely bonded to nation and by those feeling discriminated by society. Therefore, the integrative trajectory of Muslims in France follows three belonging standards: citizenship with the state; national belonging perception with nation; and tolerance with society. Through the developments of these foundations, it is possible to identify potentialities and pitfalls towards a minority’s integration.