Race and racism remain difficult topics to address in France. The language used to refer to discrimination does not really allow for any in-depth discussions about race. The social realities of race are all but absent from any national discussions in France. I contend that this is in part due to whiteness. France has shied away from its racist and colonial past. Through a series of open-ended surveys followed by semi-structured interviews, it was revealed that race is indeed part of the everyday understandings of how white French individuals construct their realities. The language used to explain who is French, how to integrate, and what racism is about contributes to the reproduction of a historicist racial state whereby whites maintain their racial hegemony. Racism continues to be understood as an individual problem. Very few respondents were able to talk about how French social institutions and policies negatively affect people of color on a daily basis. I argue in this research that whiteness contributes to an unnamed hegemonic oppression that is reproduced at the micro and macro levels and is expressed by whites through their lack of understanding about race
Jugé, Tony. 2009. Racism in France: The Civilizing Mission of Whiteness. VDM Verlag Dr. Müller. ISBN: 9783639156072
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