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Inequality, Identity and Integration among African-Descent Youth in France

14th May 2015 3pm, University of Southampton 02/1083

Loretta Bass, University of Oklahoma

The incorporation of Sub-Saharan African immigrant families is a key issue for France and Europe at large. This research uses data gathered from first- and second-generation immigrant youth and their mothers to understand the integration process of African-descent youth in France, where one in seven children comes from a family with immigrant parents. I examine identity and incorporation by addressing the following question: Where do these young people of immigrant descent see themselves fitting in French society? I use respondents' voices to identify cultural and structural factors that define their integration experience, and then present findings as they fall within three areas: 1) identity formation, 2) the importance of race and immigrant statuses, and 3) nuances of the outsider status. I also use segmented assimilation and cultural-materialist frameworks to explain two cases: Alita, a young, first-generation woman's integration, and the riots in recent years of immigrant youth in France's suburbs.