Constructing Muslims in France: Discourse, Public Identity, by Jennifer Fredette

By Jennifer Fredette

The status of French Muslims is undercut via a principal and chronic elite public discourse that frames Muslims as failed and incomplete French voters. this case fosters the very separations, exclusions, and hierarchies it claims to deplore as Muslims face discrimination in schooling, housing, and employment. In developing Muslims in France, Jennifer Fredette offers a deft empirical research to teach the political variety and intricate id politics of this rather new inhabitants. She examines the general public identification of French Muslims and evaluates photos in well known media to teach how stereotyped notions of racial and non secular changes pervade French public discourse. While rights could be a sine qua non for combating criminal and political inequality, Fredette exhibits that extra instruments reminiscent of media entry are had to wrestle social inequality, relatively whilst it is available in the shape of damaging discursive frames and public disrespect.Presenting the conflicting perspectives of French nationwide id, Fredette indicates how Muslims try to realize popularity in their various perspectives and backgrounds and locate complete equality as French citizens.** [C:\Users\Microsoft\Documents\Calibre Library]

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This is important in the context of France, a nation that is experiencing, as the news outlets like to flashily put it, “an identity crisis” (“France tackles national identity crisis” 2009; 30 / Chapter 2 “French identity crisis” 2009; Kirby 2009; Lichfield 2009a; Samuel 2007). While this may be an exaggeration, French politicians are certainly responding as if it were a legitimate crisis. In 2009 and 2010, French politicians engaged in the lengthy and at times polemical “French identity debates” in an attempt to better define what makes a person French and what French values are.

These two concepts are intended to help people see past the social, legal, and political constraints that blind them to inequality and thereby perpetuate exclusion. Feminists and critical race scholars, however, are likely to circle back to Phelan’s critique: even when America expanded “We the people” to include “all” citizens regardless of race and gender, some citizens were still deemed more fit than others. For example, even though African Americans have all of the legal rights of whites today, the factually inaccurate trope of the welfare queen became a successful act of political rhetoric precisely because it relied on (and strengthened) long-­standing assumptions among bigoted whites about the lazy, conniving, and overly fecund nature of black women (Hancock 2004).

For Muslims, formal rights all too often become empty abstractions that cannot easily offset the social stigma they regularly encounter. The ineffectiveness of formal rights claims for addressing social indignities and elite discursive challenges to Muslim citizenship exaggerates the difficulty Muslim activists face in creating a counternarrative. How is it that the citizenship of a group of people can be so vigorously questioned when those people bear legal and social artifacts of national membership, such as a passport and language fluency?

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