No longer a waltz between red wine and mint tea : the portrayal of the children of immigrants in French newspapers (2003–2013)

Matthew Clare, Dalia Abdelhady

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Despite the egalitarianism that informs French civic culture, the socio-economic marginalization of citizens of non-European origin, mostly from North African countries, provide empirical evidence that challenges the French Republican ideal of integration. Such marginalization needs to be reconciled especially within the cultural realm. In this article, we look at French newspapers’ coverage of the children of immigrants during a ten-year period (2003–2013). We analyse coverage in three major newspapers since French news coverage can be considered to follow a specific political/literary model, which has a profound influence on how news in France is both coded and decoded. The article examines the ways political allegiances affect the portrayals of the children of immigrants. Using the constant comparative method, an analysis of the discourse over time shows that the narratives of integration of the decedents of North African immigrants have been complicated by the 2005 riots, both as a romantic illusion, a reflection of reality, or a possible outcome of events. The three newspapers grapple with the ambiguous position of the children of immigrants in French society in different ways. Coverage of children of immigrants continues to be divided along partisan lines which are bounded by the political/literary model of journalism. What is also clear is that the changing portrayal of children of immigrants is intrinsically attached to evolving social, political, and economic dynamics both nationally and beyond state borders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-28
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Sociology


  • Media
  • Integration
  • France
  • Immigrants


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