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‘Sterilized assimilation’: the production of domestic and urban space in housing north African migrants in post-colonial France

by Rébecca Suzanne Franco

Submission summary

As Contributors: Rébecca Franco
Preprint link: scipost_202106_00012v1
Date submitted: 2021-06-09 10:11
Submitted by: Franco, Rébecca
Submitted to: Migration Politics
Academic field: Political Science
  • Migration Politics


Authorities use policies on segregation and social mixture to manage and control racialized populations within urban space. This perpetuates, creates, and contests racial boundaries. Building upon feminist scholarship on gender, intimacy, and colonialism, this paper is looks at the production of the domestic space together with the production of urban space in order to shed light on the construction of racial boundaries. I explore how the housing policies that targeted the North African mi-grant population in the 1960s and 1970s were based on and perpetuated racialized difference of these migrants all the while promising assimilation. By tracing fragmented logics on (inter)racialization within the archive, I pay specific attention to the ways in which the housing policies managed and dealt with ‘interracialized’ households and intimacies. I argue that the authorities developed policies that aimed at ‘sterilized assimilation’. This encouraged social mixture of certain North African families in urban space, while negating and preventing interracialization within the domestic space – that is: interracialized households and intimacies. This history helps explain how the contemporary encouragement of social mixture in urban space coexists with marginalization and segregation

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Submission scipost_202106_00012v1 on 9 June 2021

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