Is French Society Truly Assimilative? Immigrant Parents and Offspring on the French Labour Market


in Unequal Chances

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780197263860
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734953 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Is French Society Truly Assimilative? Immigrant Parents and Offspring on the French Labour Market

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France is unusual among Western European countries in having experienced net immigration for much of the twentieth century. Migrants have come from three main sources: firstly, from other European countries (especially Portugal); secondly, from former French territories and colonies in Maghreb, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South East Asia; and thirdly, from some less-developed non-European countries in the Near East. It is also important to distinguish repatriates (of European origin) from other migrants from the Maghreb. France's ‘Republican Model’ of assimilation runs counter to the active recognition of distinct ethnic groups, but a number of datasets make it possible to identify with reasonable accuracy the major second-generation groups. While the second generation have made considerable absolute gains in terms of education and occupation, in relative terms the second-generation Maghrebins remain just as disadvantaged as their parents. In contrast, groups of European ancestry experience much-reduced ethnic penalties, and in several cases no penalty at all.

Keywords: France; immigration; second generation; migrants; Maghreb; repatriates; assimilation; education; ethnic penalties; ethnic groups

Chapter.  17708 words. 

Subjects: Race and Ethnicity

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