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The experience of discrimination and citizenship: A study with inhabitants of French banlieue neighborhoods

Guillaume Roux, Anaïk Purenne et Julien Talpin
Traduction de Yvonne van der Does (Office of International Scientific Visibility - IdEx Université Côte d’Azur)
Cet article est une traduction de :
Expérience des discriminations et citoyenneté : Enquête auprès d’habitants de quartiers populaires [fr]

Résumé

The article deals with individuals’ experience of ethno-racial discrimination and stigmatization as it occurs through experience with public institutions: the police, school and to a certain extent, urban policies. It documents the nature and salience of these experiences, and shows how they participate in ordinary relations to the state and citizenship. The article reviews the main available qualitative studies, and presents results from a collective research based on in-depth, biographical interviews conducted in six banlieue neighborhoods in France, and three disrupted neighborhoods in other national contexts in 2017 and 2018 (N = 245). First, we present the state of the art (mainly qualitative studies) as regard to the experience of institutional discrimination in different national contexts. Then we show how the experience of institutional discrimination produced by state institutions participates in ethno-racial minorities’ identification processes and relation to the state. The article also deals with the methodological issues of research about discriminatory experiences, and the related empirical strategy or how to build empirical evidence based on in-depth interviews.

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Texte intégral

Introduction

  • 1 About racial microaggressions and their clinical consequences: Sue et al. 2007.
  • 2 They mostly generate mental health inequalities: see the introduction of the issue.

1“The feeling of being discriminated against, writes Pierre Rosanvallon, does not exist in societies based on an established hierarchy of conditions. The peasant in the Middle Ages could lament his sad fate and occasionally revolt but had essentially come to terms with his inferior position” (Rosanvallon 2021: 98). The idea of discrimination emerges, de facto, with the rise of the idea of a “society of equals”, in which the state and its institutions determine to a large extent the process for equalizing conditions. Ethnic and racial discrimination, which is illegal and goes against the official understanding of equal opportunity, contradicts the democratic principles and legal standards of societies such as France. In addition to discrimination in the strict sense of the word, a wide range of actions not necessarily punished by the law might also have implications. These include racist microaggressions1 and behaviors that stigmatize groups or individuals based on criteria connected with race or origin. These actions and their consequences may go unnoticed by those who are not their victims, and remain partly invisible (Essed 1991). However, studies tend to show that they have massive repercussions on the daily existence,2 life trajectories and existential opportunities of members of ethnic and racial minorities. As such, they contradict the idea of a “society of equals” in which opportunities do not depend on a person’s perceived origin.

2The state and its institutions, which are expected to guarantee the fair treatment of all citizens, nevertheless produce differentiated treatment, especially as regards a person’s perceived origin, as clearly illustrated by the example of the police. It was in principle established for the benefit of all, and yet it is a proven fact that it produces discrimination (to the extent that “for a significant part of our country’s youth, the most ordinary experiences of violence and injustice are associated with police officers”, Fassin 2011: 27-28). But it is also, in principle, a key intermediary in the fight against discrimination and the first step in the process for legally handling these offenses. This ambivalence invites us to take a closer look at the relationship between state or public institutions and discrimination: how does institutional discrimination which is in contradiction with the rule of law, with democratic principles, and with the ideal of equality, shape the trajectory and subjectivity of individuals “in multi-ethnic societies, where the fight against discrimination has become an issue of public policy” (Jobard and Maillard 2015: 107). In this article, the notion of institutional discrimination refers to the experiences of discrimination or stigmatization encountered by individuals in their dealings with institutions, and more specifically with public institutions. It essentially refers to discrimination perceived as arising from the institution and its agents or its operations, and in some cases, to discrimination interpreted as belonging to the experience with an institution, without directly incriminating its agents (this mainly concerns discrimination that occurs at school but does not always originate from the school staff (Sala-Pala 2010)).

3Several recent surveys have shown the extent of ethnic and racial discrimination in French society, and have confirmed the importance of discriminating events, often tied to institutions, in urban working-class or banlieue neighborhoods. It seems all the more essential to examine the impact of these experiences on subjectivities and on their relationship with the political world, since research on working classes and their first contacts with the administration have shown the extent to which concrete interaction with state agents contributes to shaping representations of these institutions (Siblot 2005). For Fabien Jobard and Jacques De Maillard, “if [police] force is used in an abusive manner, the legitimacy of public power is at stake” (Jobard and Maillard 2015: 169, Talpin et al. 2021).

4It is important to examine the way everyday interaction with public institutions (the police, school, urban policies, etc.) and any discrimination that may occur in these contexts, shape one’s relationship with the state and citizenship. The first part of this article reviews the main contributions of current research, especially qualitative research based on semi-structured interviews, on experiences of discrimination, and particularly institutional discrimination. In the second part, we show how this research sheds light on the relationship members of ethnic and racial minorities have with their identity, and on their relationship with the state, while highlighting certain blind sports in the research.

1. Documenting the experience of institutional discrimination

Studying discrimination from the point of view of the experience of discriminated persons

  • 3 For an overview of these approaches, see for example Rosanvallon 2021.
  • 4 It is also possible to cite the survey TeO, which on the basis of structured questionnaires inquire (...)

5Discrimination can be examined using different methods ranging from econometric analyses to situation tests, including the direct observation of practices and self-reporting, which is to ask people to describe the experiences they might have had3 using semi-structured interviews, for example. This last approach was adopted in several studies conducted –some of which are recent when it comes to France– such as those by Philomena Essed, Michèle Lamont, or François Dubet.4

  • 5 If an individual is objectively discriminated against, but this discrimination goes unnoticed by th (...)

6They focus on all the events throughout the existence of an individual that can be considered by this individual as a form of unfair and illegitimate treatment received as a member of a social category in a broad sense, and more specifically an ethnoracial category (our definition). The very idea of experience, in its usual meaning and in the social sciences, combines two dimensions of existence and the events that fill it: an objective dimension (the facts as they actually occurred) and a subjective dimension (the way these facts were felt, lived, and interpreted by the individuals who went through them) leaving an imprint or a mark on them, and were remembered by them (Zeitler and Barbier 2012, Dewey 1938-1959, Dubet 1994). Thus, by definition, an experience is analyzed by grasping its subjective and temporal dimension, by seeking to understand the way an individual was and continues to be affected, the way it leaves an imprint on the individual’s memory, and how it is interpreted based on all the different facts, events, and experiences that resonate with it from the individual’s point of view, and contribute to give it meaning.5 This is why Philomena Essed points out that an experience of racism cannot be distinguished from the memory that individuals have of it (Essed 1991).

  • 6 Except if the respondent mentioned it spontaneously. As a relatively scholarly word, it is not alwa (...)
  • 7 In the United States, Elijah Anderson collects accounts of “nigger moment” experiences: the unexpec (...)

7The preferred method is the semi-structured and biographical interview, which is used to gather dense accounts recorded over a long period of time, but nevertheless does not avoid the pitfalls of any study of experience. A frequently mentioned risk in studies on discrimination is “over-declaration” of experiences more or less exaggerated or even fantasized. It refers, more particularly, to the supposed propensity of members of stigmatized minorities to misinterpret failures or ambiguous experiences as discriminatory. In our case, however, the sociology of the experience of discrimination, as well as the results of our survey, reveal the opposite phenomenon in the context of the interviews: overall, individuals avoided interpreting as a discrimination an ambiguous or even potentially and sometimes clearly discriminatory experience. In spite of this, could the interviewer who conducts the interview encourage the respondents to interpret certain experiences as discriminatory or exaggerate their importance by insisting on them? In the survey we conducted (see below), the interview strategy was designed to avoid framing effects: the interview concerned individuals’ relationship with their neighborhood, and the interviewers were instructed to never directly introduce the topic of discrimination –they carefully avoided saying the word6– but addressed related topics such as employment and the search for a job or housing. We must add that in most cases, the experiences reported were so detailed, circumstantiated, and explicit that if they were to be radically called into question, it would imply that the respondents had massively fabricated them.7

8Along with François Dubet and his colleagues (2013), we hold the premise that respondents answered in good faith. We do not assume that each respondent faithfully remembered each event. But by combining the reluctance of the respondents to talk about their experiences of discrimination, the massive number of shared experiences of discrimination or stigmatization in the discourses we collected, and the objectively widespread or routine nature of discriminatory or stigmatizing acts targeting ethnoracial minorities in French society, we can conclude the following: on the whole, the experiences of discrimination reported reflect the occurrence of actual discriminatory acts, even though they were inevitably narrated in a variable way depending on how they were subjectively remembered. In other words: in view of the existing knowledge, the idea of a generalized over-reporting of discriminatory experiences seems unlikely and the burden of proof thus falls on those who would support this idea.

9The other methodological risk frequently mentioned is to under-report discriminatory experiences. In our case, the length of the interviews (from one to several hours) created a climate of trust or empathic listening that allowed the respondents, after a certain time and sometimes a certain reluctance, to mention experiences that they were inclined to keep silent about at first. However, it is likely that under-reporting nevertheless occurred as it is a limitation inherent to the study of discriminatory experiences. Its occurrence reinforces one of our main findings, which is the massive number of discrimination experiences reported, despite probable under-reporting.

  • 8 On the experience of “multiple hostile attitudes: jokes, mockery, posturing, mimicry, provocation, (...)
  • 9 See the introduction to the section on the relatively significant tradition of quantitative studies (...)

10While several sociological studies in the United States have examined the processes of stigmatization from the victims’ point of view (Pescosolido and Martin 2015), no firm tradition has yet been established for the qualitative study through semi-structured interviews of the experience of ethnic and racial discrimination in the full sense of the word, in its subjective and discursive dimensions. The book Getting Respect published in 2016 by Michèle Lamont and her colleagues (2016), which focuses on the United States, Brazil, and Israel, is a major contribution to this field of research. The study based on nearly 450 semi-structured interviews focuses on the experience of discrimination in the strict sense –an individual is denied access to resources or opportunities– and the experiences of ethnoracial stigmatization, which represent “assaults on worth”. Based on an interview survey conducted in the United States and the Netherlands, Philomena Essed documented the consequences of these assaults on worth: “the accumulation of these incidents causes social, economic, and emotional trauma, and eventually becomes a burden that cannot be shed” (Essed 2005: 106). The current condemnation of overt racist acts may encourage these forms of “subtle racism”.8 However, this does not prevent overt acts of racism or violence (Jounin 2015: 7, Bonilla-Silva 2009), which are less frequent but leave a painful memory on individuals or cause an existential trauma.9

11In France, a few relatively recent studies based on semi-structured interviews have examined the experience of discrimination and ethnoracial stigmatization and have started to “leave cracks in the wall of silence surrounding ethnic and racist discrimination in a republican context that claims to be indifferent to differences” (Poiret 2010: 5, Eberhard 2010, Cognet and Eberhard 2013). Based on biographical interviews of young Black women with a degree, Christian Poiret (2010) analyzes the way in which their experiences of repeated ethnoracial discrimination, labelling and stigmatization gradually make them aware of their minority situation by teaching them that they are perceived as Black.

How the experience of discrimination impacts the life of the discriminated

  • 10 This refers to all the experiences or incidents mentioned, and not to the proportion of respondents (...)

12In the United States, as in the other national contexts studied by Michèle Lamont and her colleagues, one of the main results found is that experiences of stigmatization appear to be very frequent compared to experiences of discrimination in the strict sense of the term. “Attacks on worth” account for 81% of all the experiences mentioned in the interviews, as opposed to 32% that relate to discrimination10 (96% of the Black Americans mentioned at least one experience of discrimination or stigmatization).

13François Dubet, Éric Macé, Olivier Cousin, and Sandrine Rui obtained the same results for France, in line with the first studies devoted to the experience of discrimination. Based on an extensive survey comprising 180 interviews, they showed more particularly that the psychological wounds linked to experiences of discrimination and ethnoracial stigmatization mentioned by the respondents were widely shared (they generally felt traumatized, “crushed”, depressed, wounded in their self-esteem, sometimes permanently).

  • 11 Although we do not have a control sample or a substantial corpus of members of the ethnoracial majo (...)
  • 12 For a characterization of the different neighborhoods: Talpin et al. 2021: 356-369, and 29-30 for a (...)
  • 13 To this was added the participant observation of eleven anti-discrimination organizations.

14The results of the Eodipar survey, from which we partially draw here, are consistent with this research (Talpin et al. 2021). Experiences of discrimination and of ethnoracial, religious, and territorial stigmatization were analyzed by conducting 245 biographical interviews with a diverse sample of respondents who were for the most part11 members of ethnoracial minorities, living in six working-class neighborhoods in France (N=157), and three working-class neighborhoods in England, Canada (in Montreal) and the United States (N=88)12 between 2014 and 2018. The interviews in this case were biographical in the sense that the respondents were led to talk about their personal and even their family trajectory, their long-term experience with employment, their education, etc. Although the corpus was not representative in the statistical sense of the term, it aimed to represent diverse profiles –in terms of age, gender, migration history (first, second generation, etc.), length of time in the neighborhood, social and professional trajectories (descending or ascending, etc.), and professional status (employed, vulnerable profession, student, unemployed, etc.). It also represents a diversity of local contexts, particularly in terms of the town’s political majority (conservative or liberal), the number of non-profits, the size of the neighborhood, etc. A small proportion of the respondents were White people (who perceived themselves and were perceived as such). However, the study did not include members of ethnoracial minorities living outside working-class neighborhoods and does not allow us to know precisely which results are specific or not to people living in these neighborhoods (even if other studies provide certain indications).13

  • 14 The consequences of the fact that none of them belonged to the working class nor were they likely t (...)

15The interviews were conducted face-to-face by the seven authors of the book (each on one or more sites), at the respondent’s home or in a community hall (room made available by a social or cultural non-profit, etc.). Depending on their profile, the interviewers were not all perceived as members of the ethnoracial majority,14 but we did not find that this made a difference in the comments collected. Given the often-painful nature of discriminatory experiences, which makes it hard for respondents to speak about them, it seemed relevant from a methodological as well as an ethical perspective for interviewers to adopt a caring and empathetic attitude. Respondents ultimately felt free to report hurtful and sometimes intimate experiences, which their relatives sometimes ignored, to unknown interviewers with whom they did not necessarily have spontaneous social affinities.

  • 15 Along with Raymond Boudon, we could consider this a “psychology of convention” (and perhaps redefin (...)

16To determine whether experiences of institutional discrimination in connection with public institutions contribute to shaping a person’s relationship with the state and citizenship, the survey first documented the feelings of inequity or of general unfairness of the state or social order caused by institutional discrimination in connection with state action and compared it with other forms of discrimination and stigmatization. It also gathered the comments of respondents who explained how their experience of discriminatory treatment by public institutions had changed their perception of the law or of their status as citizens. Although the cause-and-effect relationships in this particular case are assumed by the respondents themselves, they nonetheless appear highly probable and congruent with other research findings. The analysis is also based on the observation in the comments collected of co-occurrences between certain themes or interpretations, such as when an ethnoracial identifier such as “us, North-Africans” is mentioned in a specific or unique way with respect to a discriminatory experience (or a certain type of experience).15

17On the whole, when faced with certain questions that we had not always anticipated at the beginning of the survey –which relate in this article to the extent and consequences of discrimination specific to institutions– our approach was partly based on an “evidential paradigm” (Ginzburg 1980): starting from the plurality of sometimes heterogeneous evidence gathered by the survey, we were able to follow the thread of what can be plausibly affirmed, i.e., findings, explanations or interpretative hypotheses based on a “body of evidence”.

  • 16 To limit the coder’s margin of subjective interpretation, the codes often refer to the formulations (...)

18The interviews were coded using text analysis software, based on a single standardized grid defined collectively (for example, in each interview, the “Identification” code for “us, Muslims” was associated with each relevant element of discourse. The precision and the large number of codes combined with a relatively literal coding of the interviews limited the margin of subjective interpretation of discourses).16

  • 17 An euphemism for ethno-racial discrimination.

19The respondents were very often reluctant to talk about their experiences of discrimination or minimized them, as did Leïla, a 33-year-old French citizen of Algerian parents working as an insurance administrator and living in the Mistral neighborhood of Grenoble. After earning a two-year degree, she wondered why she could not find a job, unlike her classmates. After raising the hypothesis of racism, she finally concluded that her training was not sufficiently specialized. When the interviewer brought her back to the theme of racism, she explained that she “doesn’t really like to say”, doesn’t want to “be a victim” or to be accused of saying that “it’s always that”. Furthermore, she doesn’t want to have “a fatalistic mindset” or “fall into the thing where ‘well, I’m rebeu [Arab]’”. But she explains that she asked herself “questions that others don’t ask themselves”: is her North African first name a liability? Should she send resumes without a photo? Although she avoided talking about it “outside” for fear of being accused of blowing things up, she had talked about it with her parents who, “even less fatalistic than her”, told her that “it’s not that at all, maybe you did something [wrong] in your cover letter”. After further training, she found a job in a bank. When asked by the interviewer if she had faced any problems, she reported that the only employees in her branch who had not been promoted were the “Blacks and Rebeus”. A non-racialized colleague told her that the director of the agency applied the principle of “national preference”.17 Leïla passed over these events quite quickly to talk instead about her future and the decision she made as a result to go into teaching. When the interviewer came back to this experience towards the end of the interview, he found out that the branch employees, racialized or not, had noticed and condemned the director’s policy of “national preference” and that a staff representative was considering legal action, but that Leïla, believing that this procedure had little chance of succeeding, did not wish to pursue the issue.

  • 18 Close to eight out of ten respondents reported at least one direct personal experience.

20Nevertheless, almost all respondents (93%) mentioned at least one experience of discrimination or stigmatization (most often ethnoracial, and to a lesser extent territorial) during the interview (in some cases experienced indirectly or by a relative).18 Respondents in France, England, Canada, and the United States have reported experiences of discrimination or stigmatization in comparable proportions.

  • 19 Half of the respondents mentioned an emotional trauma expressed by crying, sadness, or depression ( (...)
  • 20 One third of the respondents downplayed the discriminatory experience: “That’s life. That’s how it (...)
  • 21 The same proportion was observed in foreign countries.
  • 22 Related to the Muslim faith.
  • 23 The different grounds for discrimination were reported based on the words used by the respondents t (...)

21The results confirm the extent (the strength and frequency) of the psychological damage that can be caused by experiences of discrimination and stigmatization, whether these are experiences that represent a trauma19 for the respondents, leave a lasting mark on them, and sometimes lead them to change their life trajectory, or are a repetition of experiences that they tend to downplay but20 that end up affecting them deeply. In the interviews conducted in other countries, we met respondents who said that they had left France precisely because of their experience of racism or discrimination (and who considered their new environment much more favorable from this point of view, though not ideal). The experiences of discrimination or stigmatization that were reported to us most often referred to criteria relating to ethnicity and race (70% of all experiences),21 followed by religion22 (in almost half of the cases) and territory (a little more than a third)23. But these distinctions can be partly misleading: the respondents often mentioned a plurality of intertwined criteria or characteristics.

The experience of institutional discrimination by public authorities

22To what extent do experiences with public institutions –the police, schools, other public authorities– contribute to experiences of ethnoracial discrimination and stigmatization? The analysis of Michèle Lamont and her colleagues does not specifically address institutional discrimination that occurs in the context of relations with state employees or public authorities. However, their results indicate that a significant proportion of discrimination or stigmatization experiences occur when interacting with institutions, and notably the two most widespread discriminatory experiences: denied opportunities and profiling. In France, Christian Poiret (2010) has noted that his respondents often mentioned the labor market, but also school, as a place where they experienced discrimination. François Dubet and his colleagues have also pointed out that “school is often perceived as […] discriminating” (Dubet et al. 2013: 206).

  • 24 They can be caused by school staff or students.
  • 25 Given that the subject of police discrimination was not systematically addressed in the interviews, (...)
  • 26 This was the case for approximately one out of every two of them.
  • 27 More precisely: the respondents sometimes mentioned, during the interviews, the supposed causes of (...)

23The Eodipar survey which served as a basis for the book L’épreuve de la discrimination (2021) confirms the recurrent experiences of institutional discrimination or stigmatization that occur in relationships with public institutions. More than four out of ten respondents mentioned discrimination experienced in the school setting,24 and nearly one out of three, when interacting with police officers.25 When explaining the reasons for discrimination, half of the respondents mentioned causes that could be described as political26 in the broadest sense of the term. Half of them mentioned the action of the state or public institutions: mainly local institutions –schools, town halls, public services, etc. (43 respondents)– and legislative action (law on the veil in 2004, law on the state of emergency, etc.).27

24Studies in other fields of research confirm the salience of discriminatory experiences that occur when dealing with school or the police. ATP (Attitudes towards the police) studies show that bad experiences with the police, particularly discriminatory ones, by members of ethnoracial minorities largely explain the over-representation of attitudes of distrust towards the police within this population. In France, Éric Marlière (2005), who conducted a broad survey based on observations and interviews, claimed that the residents of working-class neighborhoods complained that the police used a combination of verbal provocation, discrimination, violence, repeated searches and discriminatory identity checks. These discriminatory checks have effectively been objectified and documented in the French context (Jobard et al. 2012).

  • 28 That is, the use of ethnoracial classification criteria. See Lorcerie 1995, 2004.

25Few studies have been conducted in France on the occurrence and experience of ethnoracial discrimination in school settings. Fabrice Dhume points out that, in the absence of rigorous empirical examination, the social sciences have long contributed to the idea that schools are alien to discrimination or that they protect against it (Dhume 2019). As early as the mid-1970s, however, research has analyzed the influence of ethnoracial stereotypes on teachers’ judgments (Amigues et al. 1975, Zimmermann 1978), or the way in which the combined processes of spatial segregation and racialization28 have contributed to produce educational inequalities (Payet 1992, Broccolichi 1995).

26The few studies (Dhume-Sonzogni 2020), mostly quantitative, that have examined the experience of ethnoracial discrimination at school or in universities show that it is relatively widespread. Based on an opinion survey and interviews with members of the second generation of sub-Saharan immigrants with higher education degrees, Elodie Druez (2016) observes that for some of them, the discriminatory experience specifically concerns school guidance: for example, one respondent who, comparing her grades with those of students who had been sent to “very good high schools”, believed that her presence was “totally unjustified” in the vocational school to which she had been guided without taking her wishes into account.

27The results of the Eodipar survey also show how schools can turn symbolic ethnoracial boundaries into very concrete ones: Jordan, a resident of Roubaix, reports, for example, that one of his teachers would divide the class into North African students on one side and those who were not on the other, and because he is Muslim, he ended up being labeled as North African:

As the expression goes, I’m sitting between two chairs. My name is Jordan, but I’m a Muslim, so that means…

Interviewer: Yeah, so yeah, you’re between the two. But he still put you on the side…

On the Arab side.

28At the same time, studies have shown that urban policies that specifically target urban working-class, banlieue neighborhoods contribute to produce discrimination or to a form of racialization and stigmatization of ethnoracial groups (see Tissot and Poupeau 2005, Palomares and Roux 2021, and see also the series of which this article is the introduction). More particularly, housing and settlement policies routinely contribute to produce discrimination based on ethnoracial criteria due to the more or less unofficial use by “front-line agents” (Collectif A.P.I et al. 2021, Doytcheva 2007) or managers (Arnoulet and Tournon 2021) of ethnoracial classification categories or criteria.

  • 29 We are effectively dealing here with a form of institutional discrimination, in the sense that the (...)

29Few studies examine the way in which urban and “zoning” policies contribute to the ethnoracial or spatioracial discrimination or stigmatization experienced by members of the relevant minorities. Scattered proof can be found: for example, a student in a high school in a priority-education zone (ZEP) who is convinced that a special class labeled “Europe” is reserved exclusively for whites (Van Zanten 2012). In the Eodipar survey, one respondent felt that educational zoning policies were designed to keep targeted groups inferior. And we could also mention the respondents who deplore forms of “abandonment” or neglect of their neighborhood by the public authorities, as expressed by this schoolboy from Vaulx-en-Velin:29

Where I live, there are rats, rundown buildings, and no one has come to improve that. It’s as if we’re excluded; we’re not treated like the others.

30Similarly, several respondents, often young people, wondered during the interviews why members of ethnoracial minorities were concentrated in the same type of neighborhoods. Why are the residents of these neighborhoods stigmatized?

2. How institutional discrimination shapes identities and citizenship

31Are the discriminations that occur in the relationship with institutions that should in principle guarantee democratic equality, likely to shape the relationship of members of ethnoracial minorities with their identity (or identification processes) and their relationship with the state or citizenship? In a certain tradition of anthropological studies, the idea of citizenship extends beyond its strict legal definition as a status: “To be a citizen is not only to be in a relationship with a state, but also to be a member of a community, both legally constituted and socially constructed.” In this perspective, citizenship refers to social identification insofar as this identification concerns “the sense of one or other fraction of the population of belonging to the “community of citizens” (Neveu 2004: 3), and implies the study of “how all kinds of experiences and practical activities generate [...] a sense of citizenship” (Cefaï 2007: 717). It thus refers, more specifically, to the construction of a “minority consciousness”, and to experiences that contribute to shaping the relationship with democratic norms and the feeling of being part of a social-political order seen as fair or unfair.

Institutional discrimination, denial of Frenchness, and identities

  • 30 The same observation was made by Druez 2022.

32During the interviews, one third of the respondents mentioned an ethnoracial or religious “us”: “us, Arabs”, “us, Algerians, “us, Muslims”, etc. They also alluded to those living in the neighborhood as “us”. These references to an identity often appear to be intertwined. Frequently, the same “us”, in the same sequence or sentence, had both an ethnoracial (and sometimes religious) and territorial meaning:30 ”When you live here or are of North African origin… the scourge of racism, you know”; “a child like […] Karim who lives in a neighborhood where there are only people with an immigrant background”, etc.

33These “us” statements do not come up randomly during the interview: these forms of minority identification are essentially prompted or induced by the experience of discrimination. In other words, minority identifications or identities are first and foremost reactive: they become salient and sometimes are claimed by respondents because they are first assigned to them. Several Muslim respondents, for example, including some of the less pious ones, say that they have increasingly identified as Muslim since the 2015 terrorist attacks, which in their eyes encouraged their stigmatization. This is the case for Rachid, a 55-year-old Tunisian from Vaulx-en-Velin, recently naturalized French, former professor of literature in Tunisia, and expert in Islamic art:

I’ve never felt more Muslim without being one, than now. And I see myself defending what I never would have defended otherwise. [The media] has created an identity in me that I didn’t think was mine. So, I became more Muslim than Arab, more Muslim than Tunisian, more Muslim than French, more Muslim than an immigrant. It’s not my identity on an individual scale, but they take me, my person, and put me in it. I don’t feel Muslim at all, but I feel more or less forced to respond [to stigmatization].

34The sense of national belonging and citizenship are, in general, salient references, used by the respondents to process and describe their social status in the broad sense. For example, one third of the respondents who had experienced discrimination or stigmatization spontaneously mentioned that they had been denied their Frenchness and citizenship, which is a clear indication that they aspired to be fully French and citizens. This was the case for Sylvie, 43, born in the French West Indies, with a low level of education, who regularly experienced discrimination when applying for a job. We met her in Canada, in Montreal-North, after she decided to leave France (she had spent her childhood and adolescence in the suburbs of Lyon):

France, which is my country, has never given me the opportunity to feel completely French. I’ve never felt at home because they make it clear to you that you don’t belong.

35While knowing they are French, some of the respondents felt that they were not perceived as such. Idriss, a 42-year old French national of Algerian parents, with a professional baccalaureate degree, working as a subway driver and living near Villepinte, reports having felt hurt and scorned several times as a North African, and notably during a job interview for a technical job, where he was criticized for his pronunciation (this led him to refer to North-African and White French people in terms of “us” and “them”). He mentioned that he always felt “irritated” and “disturbed for two or three days”, but then “you forget. As they say, to forget is a second nature”. Nevertheless, after these experiences, he wondered if he should stay in France or go live in Algeria, his parents’ country. He also mentioned being worried about his wife, who is Muslim, wears a veil and is often verbally assaulted in public (“go home!”) –he specifies that she has chosen to wear the veil and that she “is the boss”– but that she does not always talk to him about these incidents, but rather talks about them on the phone with her sister. When the interviewer asked him, after he mentioned the word unprompted, whether he thought discrimination was a big problem, he nodded and added:

I can say I’m French, I have French papers, but with my accent… But the children, they are French, how many generations will it take, the second, third, fourth, fifth generation? Which generation will be 100% French?

36We could multiply the excerpts that illustrate the feeling of being denied Frenchness (being French de facto or legally and thinking of oneself as such while being perceived in a different way):

I was born in France, but I have the impression that they don’t want me to be French […]. And yet it’s obvious. When you grow up in France, you think you’re French, but as you get older, the image or status projected on you is that you’re not quite French.

  • 31 See on this subject the analyses drawn from the Teo survey by Simon and Tiberj (2021).
  • 32 It is to be noted that at the institutional level in France, nationality and citizenship are closel (...)
  • 33 During the interview, she often mentioned her experience of discrimination at school, which confirm (...)

37The feeling of being denied Frenchness31 or of having a lesser citizenship32 can be associated with the experience of discrimination and, more particularly, of institutional discrimination (Sylvie and Idriss mentioned discrimination when applying for a job, Rachid mentioned media stigmatization). Rachid’s comments also alluded to public and political institutions when he mentioned “the political propaganda machine” that “spreads all day long” messages that stigmatize Muslims (and when Sylvie felt that “France” had not given her “the opportunity to feel French”, she might have been referring to French society in general but also to the state and its institutions).33

  • 34 Escobar 1999: 6. See also Scklofski (2016) on how relations with the police make self-identificatio (...)
  • 35 Epp et al. 2014. See also from the quantitative perspective of ATP studies: Bradford et al. 2017.

38While identifications such as “us, living in banlieue neighborhoods” (rather than “us” from one’s own specific neighborhood) rarely occurred in general, the survey shows that they often arose when respondents talked about their experience with the police. This finding is consistent with studies that have shown how experiences with the police contribute to shaping minority identities that are both racial and territorial or mix references to race and neighborhood. Drawing from historical records, Edward Escobar showed how, in Los Angeles in the 1940s, the Chicano (Mexican-American) ethnoracial identity became salient in the context of interaction between minorities and the police insofar as police actions “have altered the way in which society defines race”.34 More recently, Charles Epp and colleagues analyzed how race as a common-sense category was “shaped by police stops in often hidden and subtle but profound and foundational ways”, thereby redefining membership in the “Black” category.35

  • 36 For a state of the art: Roux 2017.
  • 37 For a focus group study: Roux and Roché 2016. For an interview and observation study confirming thi (...)

39In France, a few studies show that distrust of the police appears to be comparatively widespread among members of ethnoracial minorities who are, at the same time, residents of banlieue neighborhoods.36 Studies have focused specifically on the role of experiences with the police in the construction of ethnoracial and territorial identities among residents of banlieue neighborhoods. They have shown how territorial and ethnoracial identities (“us, racialized residents of a banlieue neighborhood”) are made salient by experiences with the police, notably when expressing criticism of police actions seen as stigmatizing for the neighborhood.37

  • 38 According to available surveys (Trajectories and Origins (INED/INSEE) and the Regional Observatory (...)

40With respect to school, research shows that it is often in the school system that individuals learn that they “are” Black or “Arab”, i.e. perceived or labelled as such.38 But the research does not specifically examine how school might contribute to minority identifications.

Institutional discrimination, feeling of unfairness, and relationship with the state

  • 39 On the reality of police discrimination in France, particularly based on ethnoracial criteria in th (...)

41How does the experience of institutional discrimination contribute to shape citizenship? In the United States, Charles Epp and his colleagues believe that official police practices “construct and reconstruct the meaning of rights, citizenship, and race” (Epp et al. 2014: xvi). Based on an opinion survey and semi-structured interviews, they show, among other things, that for Black Americans who are stopped by the police, these stops send a message: they look like criminals and are perceived as second-class citizens. The authors challenge a widely held interpretation in the field of ATP studies that the problem would disappear if police officers, while continuing to target Blacks to a greater extent, were fair and courteous. However, even in cases where police officers had this attitude, respondents felt that they had very likely been selected because of their racial belonging and considered that this affected their self-esteem.39

  • 40 Experiences of discrimination and their characterization by the respondents, which are the core iss (...)

42In France, the results of the Eodipar survey suggest that institutional discrimination (most often in connection with the police and school) particularly affects the respondents: the systematic comparative analysis of the interviews shows that it is more often associated with a feeling of injustice than other types of discriminatory experiences.40 This was the case for Fatima, a 52-year old retired maintenance worker living in the Mistral neighborhood of Grenoble: not very politically aware (poor knowledge of political institutions, etc.), she spoke a hesitant French and appeared resigned, almost despondent, when she reported having been the object of racist insults in a bus (she simply got off). While she said she was satisfied with the “success” of her children, she nonetheless added, again in a resigned tone (she repeated that it was “hard” or “aggravating” [galère]), how difficult it has been for them to find a job. From what she has observed around her, the problem is shared by racialized young people in general: “Some of them have a master’s degree, a PhD, and they do odd jobs […]. And yet, so many young people are born here, and grow up here.” Shortly afterwards, however, her tone was no longer resigned but vehement when she reported an experience of institutional discrimination in connection with public action: contrary to what was observed earlier, the feeling of injustice was obvious here. Even though she had been receiving the “activity bonus” given each year in France to low-income workers, a “French” public servant working at the reception desk of the French Family Allowance Fund (CAF), who had “not even seen the paper” told her that she was no longer entitled to it, and that she could check “on the Internet” for confirmation. After doing so, she concluded that the public servant had unduly deprived her of a right: “This annoys me! We’re entitled to it like everyone else! If it’s my right; it’s my right!”

  • 41 Again, in the sense that the respondents commonly refer to a “us” that refers both to belonging to (...)
  • 42 “[Concerning how hard it was for her children to find a job] What can they say to me, poor ones, th (...)
  • 43 Which is probably the case here, as suggested by the fact that immediately before, she had referred (...)
  • 44 “When my turn comes, there’s a girl who comes, it was an Arab girl […] I took the pay slip and ever (...)
  • 45 The accounts of police discrimination were usually mentioned after the respondents had reported dis (...)
  • 46 In other words, we cannot limit ourselves to an analysis of the explicit aspects of the speeches on (...)
  • 47 Reference to race is often “kept at the boundary between the implicit and the explicit” or “stated (...)

43It should be noted that here, as in other excerpts presented, the interpretation of the experience as discriminatory and, particularly, as ethnoracial (and often at the same time territorial41) discrimination or stigmatization can be understood in light of the context and the implicit nature of the discourses. Typically, Fatima related this anecdote without transition, immediately after remarking on the problems her children have as North-African, and racialized people in general, to find work, which could indicate that all of these comments belong to the same theme (inequalities based on origin).42 She also used the designation of “French” –a term frequently used in banlieue neighborhoods as a synonym for White43– for the CAF employee who, in her eyes, was responsible for an injustice, immediately after mentioning a first interaction, which had a more favorable outcome, with another employee whom she described as “Arab”.44 Similarly, other respondents alluded to, particularly concerning their experiences of police stigmatization, a “we” or “us” that can be understood as racial or spatioracial in light of the context:45 several respondents used “we” or “us” to explain the way they felt demeaned in the presence of police officers. Even if we cannot present the same kind of analysis for each quoted extract as we did for Fatima, it appears essential to report the implicit meaning of ordinary discourses,46 which is very often crucial to understand what they mean, especially when the discourses refer to race.47

  • 48 Respondents reported experiences with the police of discrimination (71 out of 245 respondents), sti (...)

44As regards the police, the Eodipar survey shows that the experience of police discrimination and stigmatization influences, more specifically, opinions concerning the state or the law. Respondents frequently mentioned the illegitimate or even downright illegal nature of the police actions and behavior they had encountered.48 They reported experiences of racial profiling or discriminatory checks, but also of unjustified violence, as in the case of Kevin, a 23-year-old living in Roubaix, with no degree and unemployed when we met him:

We were squatting and some of us had been drinking alcohol. The police came and the other one went after me. […] I was 15, 16 years old, a policeman hit me, but he hit me so… so hard that I could’t even walk, I was really stunned.

45Others spoke of police operations in their neighborhoods, as did Louisa, for example, who lives in Grenoble’s Mistral neighborhood (an 18-year-old high-school graduate in alternative civilian service). At the time of the survey, the respondents reported the frequency, over the past few years, of brutal and spectacular police operations in this neighborhood, involving large numbers of heavily equipped police officers (following the classification of the neighborhood as a Priority Security Zone (ZSP), and the subsequent intervention of a dedicated brigade –BST or Specialized Field Brigade). Louisa considers these operations stigmatizing and above all, illegal:

What they are doing; it’s illegal. Coming in with fifteen trucks. I thought to myself, “Where are we? These are families, these are children! To come in with fifteen trucks as if there’d been a huge robbery, it's a bit excessive. They’re always, always, always there. On some nights, I’d get lights through my window [pointed by police officers] and we’d hear “pull your head down”.

46Many respondents reported experiences of police actions that seemed illegitimate or even, in the case of Louisa, illegal. In addition to this, they had the widely shared feeling that it is almost impossible to defend your rights or obtain justice from the police. When telling about their experiences interacting with police officers who overstepped their rights, some respondents mentioned a clearly asymmetrical balance of power. This was the case for Kevin (mentioned above) who, when faced with the violence of a police officer, was first stunned, then considered responding by “punching him in the face”; but he was quickly dissuaded by the presence of dogs and “seven police cars”. Above all, the respondents could not imagine that a legal or institutional appeal could allow them to win a case against the police. One of the main means of appeal against a discriminatory act, known by our respondents, is to file a complaint at the police station. However, several respondents explicitly stated that it was pointless to go to the police station and file a complaint against a police officer because they were convinced that their complaint would not be recorded.

47Experiences with the police thus fueled the idea of a certain police impunity sometimes associated with a certain resignation. This was expressed by Akim, a 53-year-old social worker in Roubaix, who was a French citizen, born in Algeria (he had been living in France since he was two years old), and a member of the Socialist Party. Nothing suggested that he would have tended to “turn a blind eye” to experiences of injustice. On the contrary: after being fired from his job, a decision which he considered abusive and racist, he had filed a lawsuit against the advice of his lawyer. He expected a lengthy legal procedure but considered that “his dignity” was at stake (he won the case). He spoke of this as “fighting” and “setting an example”, especially for his children (even though he “no longer believed in NGOs”, and said he was disappointed with the Licra, SOS Racism and the League of Human Rights). However, when speaking about experiences of police injustice, he was more resigned. As a child, he had gone with his father, who spoke poor French, to the police station to file a complaint after having his nose broken. But the police did not file his complaint, claiming that “we can’t do anything until you’re dead”. Years later, after being followed by “racists with guns” from whom he managed to escape, he chose to file a complaint or a report, again without success. Later, he mentioned being violently insulted by a police officer during a traffic stop. Following his wife’s advice, he went to the police station (he said he could recognize the officer), where he was guaranteed that he would be contacted by a police officer. When nothing happened, he returned and was given the same answer. Feeling wiser after that, he decided to “give up”: “I’m never going to win! No cop’s ever convicted! Even for murder, they aren’t convicted…” Respondents were usually reluctant to file a complaint because of their often-negative opinion of and poor relationship with the police, to which could be added the negative experience itself of filing a complaint at the police station and, often, a certain mistrust of public institutions, and especially legal institutions. All of this contributed to the much more general feeling of a form of powerlessness in the face of racist and discriminatory acts, whoever the perpetrator. In this context, one respondent clearly stated that “We lose […] trust in the law” (police officers had refused to file her complaint of a racist aggression).

  • 49 In the sociological sense, legality refers to the normative system of law in the strict and formal (...)

48Thus, in the comments collected, experiences of police discrimination or stigmatization, distrust of the police and especially of the police officers in charge of filing complaints, and more broadly of public and legal institutions, contribute to nourishing forms of resignation. Speaking about their experiences of discrimination, or of the reality of ethno-racial discrimination in general, the respondents often concluded: “That’s life. That’s the way it is.” More specifically, the strong connection between experiences of police discrimination and the idea that the law is ineffective or not implemented in practice contributed to a disillusioned view of the law and of legality.49 Institutional and especially police discrimination nourish a certain social and political fatalism that contributes to the shaping of lesser forms of citizenship.

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Annexe

Methodological Appendix

Table 1. Distribution of respondents by gender, age and level of education (%)

Gender

Women

53

Men

47

Age

Younger than 25

19

25 to 60

71

Older than 60

10

Level of education

No high-school degree

22

High-school degree

16

Higher education

62

Table 2. Distribution of respondents by social and professional category (SPC)

and migratory origins50 (%)

SPC

Craftsmen, traders, business leaders

2

Executives and senior executives

15

Middle-ranking staff

4

Semi-skilled workers

29

Unskilled workers

15

Retired

2

Students (high-school and above)

12

Other without a professional activity (unemployed, stay-at-home, etc.)

22

Migratory origins

France

11

French overseas territories and departments

6

Europe

3

North-Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia)

59

Sub-Saharan Africa

15

Other origins

6

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Notes

1 About racial microaggressions and their clinical consequences: Sue et al. 2007.

2 They mostly generate mental health inequalities: see the introduction of the issue.

3 For an overview of these approaches, see for example Rosanvallon 2021.

4 It is also possible to cite the survey TeO, which on the basis of structured questionnaires inquires into respondents’ perceptions of discrimination. In addition, interviews were conducted afterwards with some respondents who accepted to be recontacted.

5 If an individual is objectively discriminated against, but this discrimination goes unnoticed by this person and remains unknown forever, it can be said that the individual never really experienced it.

6 Except if the respondent mentioned it spontaneously. As a relatively scholarly word, it is not always understood.

7 In the United States, Elijah Anderson collects accounts of “nigger moment” experiences: the unexpected and astonishing moments in which individuals who never expected to have such an experience are brutally reminded of their Black status. When reading them, the idea that they could have been invented or misinterpreted seems unlikely (Anderson 2011).

8 On the experience of “multiple hostile attitudes: jokes, mockery, posturing, mimicry, provocation, name-calling, insults, shunning, denial of the person’s presence, and other prejudicial treatment,” see Hamel et al.?: 4, Duck and Rawls 2020.

9 See the introduction to the section on the relatively significant tradition of quantitative studies conducted mostly in the field of social psychology.

10 This refers to all the experiences or incidents mentioned, and not to the proportion of respondents who encountered a given experience at least once.

11 Although we do not have a control sample or a substantial corpus of members of the ethnoracial majority, a non-negligible proportion of the respondents nevertheless belong to this majority (or perceive themselves as White), i.e. 12% of them (French corpus). See Talpin et al. 2021: 348.

12 For a characterization of the different neighborhoods: Talpin et al. 2021: 356-369, and 29-30 for a comparison in terms of unemployment, immigrant population, electoral abstention and the political party or parties in power in the municipality.

13 To this was added the participant observation of eleven anti-discrimination organizations.

14 The consequences of the fact that none of them belonged to the working class nor were they likely to be perceived as such are hard to assess. See Talpin et al. 2021: 353-356 “Enquêter sur le racisme quand on est Blanc”.

15 Along with Raymond Boudon, we could consider this a “psychology of convention” (and perhaps redefine this notion), which is plausible because it is consistent with our experience and spontaneous understanding of psychosocial reality, and with the scientific knowledge available. To what extent should we doubt assumed causal relationships such as: “I was mugged and beaten up on the street, and after that, for several weeks, I was afraid to go out alone at night”; or “for the first time in my life, I was called ‘dirty black’; this hit me in the stomach; as a result, I read books on Black identity and now define myself more and more as Black”? In many research traditions, especially quantitative ones, experiences reported by respondents are considered a reliable measure of events that have objectively taken place (when they are not too old, often up to two or five years). This is the case with victimization surveys, for instance.

16 To limit the coder’s margin of subjective interpretation, the codes often refer to the formulations used by the respondents themselves. Ethno-racial identifications refer, for example, to the codes: Us, French of foreign origin / Us, people of the country of origin / Us, North Africans or Arabs / Us, Blacks / Us, Blacks and Arabs. The “Identifications” category alone comprised 80 codes. The interviews were each coded once (no procedure was set up to double check how the coders understood the codes). However, the team of coders complied with the method and coded the first few interviews together to standardize their coding practices, which were inevitably interpretative.

17 An euphemism for ethno-racial discrimination.

18 Close to eight out of ten respondents reported at least one direct personal experience.

19 Half of the respondents mentioned an emotional trauma expressed by crying, sadness, or depression (they figuratively mentioned “a slap in the face”, a “punch in the face”, etc.).

20 One third of the respondents downplayed the discriminatory experience: “That’s life. That’s how it is”...

21 The same proportion was observed in foreign countries.

22 Related to the Muslim faith.

23 The different grounds for discrimination were reported based on the words used by the respondents to describe these experiences. The respondents may have mentioned a ground for discrimination directly, or reported a discriminatory experience as a member of a group, “us”, referring to the criterion of race, neighborhood, etc. In our case, we relied in a concrete way on the coding of the interviews, and more specifically on the comments in connection with the discriminatory experience.

24 They can be caused by school staff or students.

25 Given that the subject of police discrimination was not systematically addressed in the interviews, which certainly led to an underestimation of its extent.

26 This was the case for approximately one out of every two of them.

27 More precisely: the respondents sometimes mentioned, during the interviews, the supposed causes of the discriminatory experience. These could be very circumstantial and specific (“I had to deal with someone intolerant”), or they could refer to the broader historical and social context and to events seen as encouraging discrimination: the terrorist attacks of 2015 and their media and political coverage, the history of the Algerian war, the role of certain local institutions, etc. These comments were once again coded using a variety of precise codes, as close as possible to what was said. Some codes were later grouped into broader categories (“political causes”, etc.).

28 That is, the use of ethnoracial classification criteria. See Lorcerie 1995, 2004.

29 We are effectively dealing here with a form of institutional discrimination, in the sense that the respondents who make this kind of statement are referring to the failings of the public authorities, and more particularly of their municipality.

30 The same observation was made by Druez 2022.

31 See on this subject the analyses drawn from the Teo survey by Simon and Tiberj (2021).

32 It is to be noted that at the institutional level in France, nationality and citizenship are closely intertwined. “Not being recognized as fully French” and “being treated as a second-class citizen” are usually used in a similar sense.

33 During the interview, she often mentioned her experience of discrimination at school, which confirms this deduction.

34 Escobar 1999: 6. See also Scklofski (2016) on how relations with the police make self-identification as Black salient in the United States and Brazil.

35 Epp et al. 2014. See also from the quantitative perspective of ATP studies: Bradford et al. 2017.

36 For a state of the art: Roux 2017.

37 For a focus group study: Roux and Roché 2016. For an interview and observation study confirming this finding in a different local context: Roux 2023.

38 According to available surveys (Trajectories and Origins (INED/INSEE) and the Regional Observatory of Discrimination in the Paris region), between 17% and 25% of “immigrants” say that they have been discriminated against at school (in terms of academic guidance, grading, disciplinary practices or even class interaction).

39 On the reality of police discrimination in France, particularly based on ethnoracial criteria in the context of identity checks: Jobard et al. 2012.

40 Experiences of discrimination and their characterization by the respondents, which are the core issues of the survey, have been coded particularly carefully. Among the respondents who mentioned a discriminatory experience, those who reported an experience of institutional discrimination or stigmatization more often mentioned a feeling of injustice in connection with their discriminatory experience (by comparing the association of the codes “discriminatory experience” and “feeling of injustice”, depending on whether the experience was characterized as institutional or not).

41 Again, in the sense that the respondents commonly refer to a “us” that refers both to belonging to a working-class neighborhood and to an ethno-racial group.

42 “[Concerning how hard it was for her children to find a job] What can they say to me, poor ones, they have … nothing to say, don’t they? Most of them, it’s like us. There are Africans, there are Turks… [interviewer] Yes? Oh yes! The other day, we went there for the activity bonus. Usually, it’s the taxes that give the bonus,” etc.

43 Which is probably the case here, as suggested by the fact that immediately before, she had referred to another employee as “Arab”, presumably referring to her origin rather than her nationality, which she could not know.

44 “When my turn comes, there’s a girl who comes, it was an Arab girl […] I took the pay slip and everything they were asking from me, and she was adding it up and a man [came] I said ‘there you go, I was talking to the woman’.” The second employee, whom she described as “Français”, seemed to disrupt and change the way the “Arab” employee was handling her case.

45 The accounts of police discrimination were usually mentioned after the respondents had reported discriminatory experiences when looking for a job, while working in their job or looking for housing.

46 In other words, we cannot limit ourselves to an analysis of the explicit aspects of the speeches only, even though this makes the task of objectivization easier and more immediately convincing. But it would mean deliberately depriving ourselves of our human capacity for understanding, and would make us overlook some meanings, even to the point of misinterpreting the meaning of some comments. This is demonstrated, indirectly, by the current pitfalls of communication by means of “artificial intelligence”. To this day, it is unable to decode the implicit meaning of what is said, based on elements of contextualization (a person says one thing or pronounces one word in reference to a certain media event, to the words of a public figure, in reference to what that person has said previously, etc.).

47 Reference to race is often “kept at the boundary between the implicit and the explicit” or “stated in minor mode”: Chappe and Keyhani 2022. See also the series “Analyse du discours et catégories ‘raciales’” in the journal Mots: Devriendt et al. 2018.

48 Respondents reported experiences with the police of discrimination (71 out of 245 respondents), stigmatization (61 respondents) and violence (19 respondents).

49 In the sociological sense, legality refers to the normative system of law in the strict and formal sense, insofar as it constitutes a normative system in a much broader sense, providing a framework for interpreting social relations, insofar as they are perceived, in particular, as fair or unfair. See Ewick and Silbey 1998.

50 Children with a French and foreign citizenship are coded according to the origin of the foreign parent. See Talpin et al. 2021: 349.

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Guillaume Roux, Anaïk Purenne et Julien Talpin, « The experience of discrimination and citizenship: A study with inhabitants of French banlieue neighborhoods »Appartenances & Altérités [En ligne], 3 | 2023, mis en ligne le 01 mars 2023, consulté le 16 juin 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/alterites/506 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/alterites.506

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