Cultural Integration in France

Yann Algan, Camilla Landais and Claudia Senik

in Cultural Integration of Immigrants in Europe

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199660094
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748936 | DOI:

Series: Studies of Policy Reform

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The French Republican model appears as a polar case among the different cultural integration models. Dating back to the French Revolution and the Third Republic, France has a long secular tradition imposing restrictive attitudes on the expression of religious and cultural identity in the public sphere. There are, however, growing concerns that this model, despite its claimed egalitarianism and universalism, fails to integrate the new immigrant minorities. The most illustrative example is the 2004 ruling against the display of conspicuous religious symbols in school, mainly targeted at Muslim schoolgirls who wished to wear the hijab. The main consequence of this refusal to acknowledge any minorities has been an inability to know whether the reality of equality matches the rhetoric of perfect cultural integration. While views on national identity and the integration model are very strongly held in France, the evidence base is rather weak. The goal of this chapter is to fill this gap.

Keywords: immigrants; integration and assimilation; cultural identity; economic integration; France

Chapter.  6847 words. 

Subjects: Public Economics ; International Economics

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