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  • Author: Richard Kuisel
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: The new millennium brought the loss of the most eminent American historian of modern France. Gordon Wright, emeritus professor of history at Stanford University, died on the 11 th of January in his California home. Gordon Wright was a member of a generation that matured during the war who managed to combine academic life with public service. Born in Washington State into a family of farmers, teachers and preachers, he attended Whitman College. His first encounter with France came in 1937 as an American Field Service fellow. Although he originally wanted a career in the diplomatic corps, he took his Ph.D. in history at Stanford in 1939, published his thesis on the presidency of Raymond Poincaré,1 and began his academic life at the University of Oregon. The war interrupted the peace of academia. While serving as a liaison with the State Department in 1944 he was assigned the job of leading a convoy of vehicles and personnel from Lisbon to Paris to help set up the embassy.
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, France, Lisbon
  • Author: Laura Frader
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: An American scholar is often struck by the absence of race in France as a category of analysis or the absence of discussions of race in its historical or sociological dimensions. After all, "race" on this side of the Atlantic, for reasons having to do with the peculiar history of the United States, has long been a focus of discussion. The notion of race has shaped scholarly analysis for decades, in history, sociology, and political science. Race also constitutes a category regularly employed by the state, in the census, in electoral districting, and in affirmative action. In France, on the contrary, race hardly seems acknowledged, in spite of both scholarly and governmental preoccupation with racism and immigration.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: America, France
  • Author: David Beriss
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: "Notre père, un nègre de la Guadeloupe, a coutume de rétorquer à ceux qui, en France, l'importunent au sujet de sa couleur ou de son origine: "Je suis Français depuis 1635, bien avant les Niçois, les Savoyards, les Corses ou même les Strasbourgeois." Yes, but aren't these people black?" This is perhaps the most common question Americans ask about my research among West Indian activists in Paris and Martinique. It is asked in a tone that suggests that the answer itself is obvious and, more than that, that the questions I ask about West Indian claims to identity would be almost moot if I were to just get that answer through my head. This question has always confused me. "It's not that simple," is my usual response, but the truth is that I have always suspected that these people know something about the significance of blackness that I have failed to grasp. Most of these commentators on my research, I should point out, are not social scientists. But there is a social science variant to this question. Among colleagues, it takes the form of a directive: "You really have to deal with race more directly." This suggestion that I examine race generally raises another question. Are French people white?
  • Political Geography: America, India, Caribbean
  • Author: Alec G. Hargreaves
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Since the Left returned to power in 1997, there have been remarkable changes in the debate over the "integration" of immigrant minorities in France. After a long period in which political elites emphasized the challenges associated with minority ethnic cultures and social disadvantage, the spotlight has shifted to the blockages arising from racial discrimination by members of the majority ethnic population. No less remarkably, there has been a significant abatement in the demonization of so-called Anglo-Saxon approaches to the management of ethnic relations, habitually branded by politicians and civil servants as the antithesis of France's "républicain" model of integration. Whereas British and American policies have encouraged "race" awareness in combating both direct and indirect forms of discrimination and have established powerful agencies to assist minorities suffering from unfair treatment, until recently there was a wide consensus in France that "integration" policy could best be served by erasing as far as possible any reference to ethnicity.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, America, France