Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2017

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Gable, Eric

Major or Concentration



At the center of the question of alterity today lies a debate on the role ethnicity, race, religion, and culture each play in the context of multicultural societies. In France the social contract claims to extend equal rights to all of its citizens by simple virtue of their presence in the collective, yet members of minority populations living in France often do not have access to these rights. Arab Muslim immigrants in particular are treated differently than citizens who represent the white, catholic, bourgeois population whose ancestry is seen as being "rooted" in France. While Arab Muslim immigrants are legally citizens of the French Republic, they are unable to gain sufficient "Frenchness" in order to acquire full cultural citizenship in French society. Although native French citizens present this cultural identity as unchanging, it is ultimately through the debate they hold on what constitutes Frenchness that Frenchness is produced. Through the course of my thesis I address the native French population's perceptions of Arab Muslim members of society through Front National (FN) leader Marine Le Pen's Assises Présidentielles speech, Caroline Fourest's socio-political essay Génie de la laïcité, and the Cité nationale de l'histoire de l'immigration's (CNHI) permanent exhibit Repères in order to examine how Frenchness is produced in relation to Arab Muslim immigrants living in France.

Included in

Anthropology Commons