Identities, discourses and experiences

Young people of North African origin in France

By Nadia Kiwan

Identities, discourses and experiences


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9119-3
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: November 2013
  • BIC Category: Politics, Politics & government, International relations, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General, Society & social sciences / Politics & government


The 2005 rioting in France's suburbs caught the world's attention and exposed the limits of the Republic's policies on the integration of 'immigrant-origin' populations.

This book, newly available in paperback, examines academic and public discourses about young people of North African origin in France. The resurgence of such discussions in France, focusing on sensational questions of urban unrest, Islamic fundamentalism and the challenges of increasingly assertive cultural identities, means that it is all the more necessary not to overlook the 'ordinary' majority of young French-North Africans. Their own preoccupations often go unnoticed in a context where issues such as violence in the banlieues and the threat of terrorism are pushed to the fore, sometimes with devastating consequences in terms of discrimination and exclusion.

The book rebalances and nuances the debates about post-migrant North African youth by drawing on extensive empirical research carried out in those suburbs of north-east Paris affected by the riots. It studies the construction of identity amongst this invisible majority and, by adopting an ethnographic approach, addresses the disjuncture between the sometimes inflammatory discourses about this population and their own experiences.


Nadia Kiwan is Lecturer in Francophone Studies at the University of Aberdeen


List of maps and photographs
Notes on text
Map of Seine-Saint-Denis
PART I: Public and intellectual discourses of immigration
1. Nation, immigration and integration: the public debates of the 1980s, 1990s and twenty-first century
2. 'Cultural difference', citizenship and young people: intellectual responses
3. An alternative approach to post-migrant narratives?
PART II: Post-migrant discourses
4. Individualist trajectories: social worlds and cultural positionings
5. Collective identities and cultural communities?
6. The socio-economics of community
7. Subjective identities
8: From individual to collective subjectivities?
Appendix 1: Summarised interviewee biographies
Appendix 2: Photographs

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