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Becoming Beur: Social Marginalization and the Emergence of a Collective Identity for Paris' Maghrebi Youth

Christensen, Morgan

In the last decades of the twentieth century, with racial and socioeconomic tensions running high, it seems that everywhere in the metropôle people were looking to redefine what it meant to be French in a post-colonial world. It is at this time, in the late 1980s and 1990s, that the term “beur” became widely used to describe the second and third generation children of North African immigrants in France. These Maghrebi youth were often defined as an “other” through terms like immigrant, Arab—words that connote or even stress their social marginalization. The beurs, in turn, tend to express themselves using a collective identity defined by this sense of social marginalization and otherness. This thesis seeks to elucidate the concept of a Parisian “beur culture” as it surfaced during this period by examining the emergence of this collective identity as it is constructed both externally and within the group, with special attention paid to the ways in which it relies on a sense of social marginalization from mainstream France.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
History (Barnard College)
Thesis Advisors
Moya, Jose C.
Degree
B.A., Barnard College
Published Here
August 21, 2015
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