Based on past and current ethnographic research in the Parisian metropolitan region, I discuss how racial and ethnic minorities understand and respond to their racialization in a context in which race and ethnicity are not legitimate or acknowledged, and how a suspect citizenship is created. I will discuss how racial and ethnic minorities are “citizen outsiders” as evident of France’s “racial project” (Omi and Winant 1994), which marks distinctions outside of explicit categorization. I explore not only how race marks individuals outside of formal categories, but also how people respond to these distinctions in terms of a racism-related issue, here, police violence and brutality against racial and ethnic minorities. I will also discuss how activists frame their growing social problem given the constraints of French Republican ideology.
Jean Beaman is Associate Professor of Sociology, with affiliations with Political Science, Feminist Studies, Global Studies, and the Center for Black Studies Research, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Previously, she was faculty at Purdue University and held visiting fellowships at Duke University and the European University Institute (Florence, Italy). Her research is ethnographic in nature and focuses on race/ethnicity, racism, international migration, and state-sponsored violence in both France and the United States. She is author of Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants in France (University of California Press, 2017), as well as numerous articles and book chapters. Her current book project is on suspect citizenship and belonging, anti-racist mobilization, and activism against police violence in France. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University. She is also an Editor of H-Net Black Europe, an Associate Editor of the journal, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, and Corresponding Editor for the journal Metropolitics/Metropolitiques.