France's Racial Project: Banlieues, Social Exclusion, and the North African Second- Generation
Based on ethnographic research in a Parisian banlieue, including interviews with the North African second-generation, I address how France has been involved in a “racial project,” per Omi and Winant’s (1994) formulation. In this racial project, residential location is often code for racial and ethnic origin, as race and ethnicity are not legitimate as a basis for identity. In other words, the marginalization individuals face as banlieue residents is circumscribed by their racial and ethnic status. By centering France’s colonial history and post-colonial legacy in understanding contemporary experiences of minorities, I also address how living in the banlieues, with its associated stigma and negative imagery, particularly following the 2005 uprisings throughout France, shapes the identities of its residents. How banlieue residents relate to where they live is also instructive for thinking about how they make sense of their social location and marginalization from mainstream society.