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While portrayals of immigrants and their descendants in France and throughout Europe often center on burning cars and radical Islam, Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants in France paints a different picture. Through fieldwork and interviews in Paris and its banlieues, Jean Beaman examines middle-class and upwardly mobile children of Maghrébin, or North African immigrants. By showing how these individuals are denied cultural citizenship because of their North African origin, she puts to rest the notion of a French exceptionalism regarding cultural difference, race, and ethnicity and further centers race and ethnicity as crucial for understanding marginalization in French society.
"Citizen Outsider takes place in a new thread of research on multicultural France. It's a fantastic journey into the minority experience of socially upwardly mobile North Africans. It uncovers the French 'racial project' and contributes brilliantly to an ongoing conversation on racial formation in a formally color-blind society. It is worth reading to take stock on racial formation in France."—Patrick Simon, Institut National d’Etudes Démographiques (National Institute for Demographic Studies), coeditor of Fear, Anxiety, and National Identity: Immigration and Belonging in North America and Western Europe
"Jean Beaman's Citizen Outsider offers a trenchant analysis of the racial exclusions, indignities, and injustices experienced by French citizens of color. Distinguishing between formal and cultural citizenship, Beaman draws on extensive ethnographic evidence and interviews to substantiate the insight that physical presence falls significantly short of social belonging or acceptance. She traces the historical and material conditions underpinning the resulting racial tensions and political unsettlements. Citizen Outsider provides a compelling account of the social structures and expressions of racism in France today—and their individual and community resistances."—David Theo Goldberg, Director and Professor, University of California Humanities Research Institute, and author of Are We All Postracial Yet?"Whites in France lie to themselves and the world by proclaiming that they do not have institutional racism in their nation. Relying on interviews with second-generation, middle-class North African immigrants (a group that should be presumably 'integrated' and thus happy), Professor Beaman shatters this myth and shows the deep salience of race in the country. Bravo to Professor Beaman for clearly documenting how 'racism without racists' operates in the French context!"—Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, author of Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America
"Citizen Outsider brilliantly illumines the significance of ethnoracial origins in France, a society whose national identity denies their importance. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the role of immigration in the widening social cleavages on both sides of the Atlantic."—Richard Alba, coauthor of Strangers No More: Immigration and the Challenges of Integration in North America and Western Europe
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