Former president, HALDE (Haute autorité de lutte contre les discriminations et pour l'égalité : National Authority for the fight against discrimination and for equality')., Author, 'Les discriminations en France' ('Discrimination in France') (Robert Laff
France, which in the past smugly congratulated itself on its ability to assimilate foreigners, is now starting to question this ability because it is currently facing pressure from those who want to preserve aspects of their native culture. This problem, which exists everywhere in Europe, has particular significance in France for two reasons : firstly, modern-day France conforms to the model of republican equality dating back to 1789 which became part of social mores with the establishment of universal suffrage and laws against discrimination ; and secondly, French daily life is marked by meticulous attention to respecting individual character and behaviour. According to the first model, immigrants are like everyone else, but according to the second, they come from another country and can only integrate into society if they persevere in trying to find their place in society without giving up and without emphasising the characteristics which set them apart. Should we abandon our ideal of assimilation and accept that we are becoming a multicultural society, or update the republican model and adapt it to the present-day situation ?
Introduction de Michel Berry et exposés des orateurs
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