Particular universalisms: North African immigrants respond to French racism

Michèle Lamont, Ann Morning, Margarita Mooney

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This article examines how ordinary victims of racism rebut racist beliefs communicated to them by the mass media and encountered in daily life. We describe the rhetorical devices that North African immigrant men in France use to respond to French racism, drawing on thirty in-depth interviews conducted with randomly selected blue-collar immigrants residing in the Paris suburbs. We argue that while French anti-racist rhetorics, both elite and popular, draw on universalistic principles informed by the Enlightenment as well as French Republican ideals. North African immigrants rebut racism by drawing instead on their daily experience and on a 'particular universalism', i.e. a moral universalism informed by Islam. Their arguments frequently centre on claims of equality or similarity between all human beings, or between North Africans and the French. Available cultural repertoires and the structural positions of immigrants help to account for the rhetorical devices that immigrants use to rebut racism.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)390-414
    Number of pages25
    JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
    Volume25
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 2002

    Fingerprint

    racism
    immigrant
    universalism
    suburb
    mass media
    Islam
    equality
    rhetoric
    elite
    France
    human being
    interview
    experience

    Keywords

    • Anti-racism
    • France
    • Immigrants
    • North Africans
    • Racism
    • Rhetoric

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cultural Studies
    • Anthropology
    • Sociology and Political Science

    Cite this

    Particular universalisms : North African immigrants respond to French racism. / Lamont, Michèle; Morning, Ann; Mooney, Margarita.

    In: Ethnic and Racial Studies, Vol. 25, No. 3, 2002, p. 390-414.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Lamont, M, Morning, A & Mooney, M 2002, 'Particular universalisms: North African immigrants respond to French racism', Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 390-414.
    Lamont, Michèle ; Morning, Ann ; Mooney, Margarita. / Particular universalisms : North African immigrants respond to French racism. In: Ethnic and Racial Studies. 2002 ; Vol. 25, No. 3. pp. 390-414.
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