University of Sussex
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Exploring the mechanisms for challenging racial discrimination in relation to French political culture: a race critical approach

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posted on 2023-06-08, 11:17 authored by Katya Salmi
This thesis questions the effectiveness of anti-racial discrimination mechanisms in France, particularly in relation to the national political culture. Considering the overall import of republican ideology in France, which emphasizes values of universalism, colour-blindness, and laïcité, there are significant implications for how institutional, legal and civil society actors have traditionally approached issues of racism in France. From primary data, gathered through fieldwork in France (consisting of a series of semi-structured interviews with key antiracist and anti-racial discrimination actors), this thesis highlights the ways in which the political culture impacts the anti-racial discrimination agenda. By taking into account the various levels of antiracism in France, this thesis constitutes a unique, holistic and race critical analysis whereby legal, civil society, institutional and non-conventional mechanisms are considered in conjunction with each other, instead of separately. Using “race” as an analytical tool for understanding the French context, this thesis offers a critical re-reading of French history, linking an ethnicized and racialized formation of national identity throughout key historical moments to contemporary forms of racism. This research thus argues that certain antiracist approaches based on republican ideology result in a limited understanding of racialized processes, which appears to constrain actors from producing effective mechanisms for challenging racism and racial discrimination


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  • Sociology and Criminology Theses

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  • doctoral

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  • dphil


  • eng


University of Sussex

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