“We abhor racism”: Migration Control and a Culturalist Approach to Racial Violence in 1970s France | « Nous exécrons le racisme » : contrôle migratoire et approche culturaliste des crimes racistes dans la France des années 1970

Rachida Brahim
Content Type
Journal Article
Cultures & Conflits
Issue Number
Publication Date
Fall 2017
Cultures & Conflits
In the 1970s, French immigration policy was reoriented with the tightening of entry and residency conditions. During that same decade, parallel to actions led by activists of the Movement of Arab Workers (Mouvement des Travailleurs Arabes), Algerian authorities regularly politicized assaults against their citizens on French territory. At a time when the number of Algerian migrants authorized to enter French territory was a subject of sustained debate, finger-pointing racism was used to exert pressure on the French government. This article highlights the discursive practices and operations through which French officials of the Ministry of the Interior tried to demonstrate that such acts of violence were not due to racism. Contrarily, French officials argued that attacks were the result of cohabitation difficulties provoked by the moral traditions and lifestyles of the supposed “North African” culture.
Crime, Migration, Race, History, Border Control, Violence
Political Geography
Europe, France