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France: Race, Class, and Revolt: Finding scholarship in the field

A guide to provide a start to understanding the complex histories and current issues of race and class in France.

Find Scholarship in the Field

There is a rich scholarship on issues of race, social inequality and exclusion, and policing in France. France's colonial history and its continuing impact on society are part of this story. Much of the research is published in French, and important works are included in the guide. English language scholars are also very active researchers of race, immigration, and colonial and post-colonial France. Their works should offer ways for non-French speakers to learn more about the history and ongoing issues that have recently culminated in the police shooting of Nahel M. and the violent response through out the country. 


This guide is meant to be a start. Stanford Libraries has a strong collection of materials on French social, political, and cultural movements, including reports, essays, and pamphlets produced by small specialized presses, and government publications that address these issues. Please explore the Searchworks catalog or contact the curator for help identifying more resources.

works published pre-2005

Ben Jelloun, Tahar, and Barbara Bray. French Hospitality: Racism and North African Immigrants.  New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

Einaudi, Jean-Luc, and Elie Kagan. 17 Octobre 1961. Arles: Actes Sud, 2001.

Group of 14 Original Press Photos Re Demonstration in Paris Banlieue, 1983. Paris, 1983.  *small archive of photos on the Marche pour l'égalité et contre le racisme/Marche des beurs.

Hargreaves, Alec G. Immigration and Identity in Beur Fiction: Voices from the North African Immigrant Community in France. 2nd ed. Oxford ; New York: Berg, 1997.

Jazouli, Adil. Les Années Banlieues. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1992.

Les Immigrés Du Maghreb: Études Sur l’adaptation En Milieu Urbain. Travaux et Documents - Institut National d’études Démographiques ; Cahier No 79. Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1977.

Morsy, Magali, and Centre de hautes études sur l’Afrique et l’Asie modernes, eds. Les Nord-Africains En France: Colloque “Des Étrangers Qui Font Aussi La France”, Assemblée Nationale, 7-8 Juin 1984. Paris: CHEAM : Diffusion, La Documentation française, 1984.

Peabody, Sue. “There Are No Slaves in France”: The Political Culture of Race and Slavery in the Ancien Regime. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996., 

Rajsfus, Maurice. La Police et La Peine de Mort: 1977-2001, 196 Morts. Paris: Esprit frappeur, 2002.

Talha, Larbi, ed. Maghrébins En France Émigrés Ou Immigrés? Collection “Etudes de l’Annuaire de l’Afrique Du Nord.” Paris: Editions du Centre national de la recherche scientifique, 1983.

works published 2005-present

Beaman, Jean. Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants in France. Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2017.

Begag, Azouz. Ethnicity & Equality: France in the Balance. Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press, 2007.,

Bourdon, Gwenaël, Adel Benna, and Siyakha Traoré. Zyed et Bouna. Paris: Don Quichotte, 2015.

Brozgal, Lia Nicole. Absent the Archive: Cultural Traces of a Massacre in Paris, 17 October 1961.  Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2020., Victor. Nanterre, Du Bidonville à La Cité. Marseille: Agone, 2019.

Diallo, Rokhaya. La France Tu l’aimes Ou Tu La Fermes? Paris: Textuel, 2019.

El Yazami, Driss, Yvan Gastaut, Naïma Yahi, Génériques (Organization : Paris, France), and Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration (France), eds. Générations: Un Siècle d’histoire Culturelle Des Maghrébins En France. Paris: Gallimard, 2009.

Fassin, Didier, Frédéric Debomy, and Jake Raynal. Policing the City: An Ethno-Graphic. Translated by Rachel Gomme. New York: Other Press, 2022. **graphic novel inspired by Fassin's essay Enforcing Order: An Ethnography of Urban Policing. English edition. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2013. **interview with authors: Aubrey Gabel, “Policing the City: An Ethno-Graphic: Interview with Didier Fassin and Jake Raynal,” Contemporary French Civilization 48, no. 2 (July 10, 2023): 171–87,

Fleming, Crystal Marie. Resurrecting Slavery: Racial Legacies and White Supremacy in France. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Temple University Press, 2017.

Hajjat, Abdellali. The Wretched of France: The 1983 March for Equality and against Racism. Translated by Andrew Brown. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2022.

Hajjat, Abdellali. Islamophobia in France: The Construction of the “Muslim Problem.” Translated by Steve Garner.  Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2023.

Hargreaves, Alec G. Multi-Ethnic France: Immigration, Politics, Culture and Society. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2007.

Harp, Stephen L., and Eric G. E. Zuelow. The Riviera, Exposed: An Ecohistory of Postwar Tourism and North African Labor. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2022.

Jusqu’à Quand? 15 Ans de Reportages Dans Les Quartiers. Paris: Fayard, 2020. ** writings from Bondy Blog.

Keaton, Trica Danielle. You Know You’re Black in France When: The Fact of Everyday Antiblackness. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2023.

Kiwan, Nadia. Identities, Discourses and Experiences: Young People of North African Origin in France. Manchester, UK ; New York: Manchester University Press, 2009.

Kleppinger, Kathryn A., and Laura Reeck, eds. Post-Migratory Cultures in Postcolonial France. Francophone Postcolonial Studies, new series, vol. 9. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2018.

Maillard, Jacques de, and Wesley G. Skogan, eds. Police et Société En France. Paris: SciencesPo les presses, 2023.

—, eds. Policing in France. New York, NY: Routledge, 2021.

Meurs, Dominique, Pailhé, Ariane, and Simon, Patrick. “The Persistence of Intergenerational Inequalities Linked to Immigration: Labour Market Outcomes for Immigrants and Their Descendants in France | Cairn International Edition.” Population 61, no. 5–6 (2006): 763–801. 

Pattieu, Sylvain, Emmanuelle Sibeud, and Tyler Stovall, eds. The Black Populations of France: Histories from Metropole to Colony. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2021.,

Prakash, Amit. Empire on the Seine: The Policing of North Africans in Paris, 1925-1975. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022, n.d.

Reynaud Paligot, Carole. La République Raciale: Paradigme Racial et Idéologie Républicaine (1860-1930). Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 2006.

Rea, Andrea. “Repères Bibliographiques.” In Sociologie de l’immigration., 107–23. Paris: La Découverte, 2021. ** Bibliographical overview of recent and historical literature on the sociology of immigration, with a focus on France. Includes both French and English titles.

Savarèse, Éric. Histoire Coloniale et Immigration: Une Invention de l’étranger. Paris: Séguier, 2000.

Slaouti, Omar, and Olivier Le Cour Grandmaison, eds. Racismes de France. Paris: La Découverte, 2020.

Stovall, Tyler. White Freedom: The Racial History of an Idea. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2021.

Talpin, Julien, ed. L’épreuve de La Discrimination: Enquête Dans Les Quartiers Populaires. Paris: PUF, 2021.

Traoré, Assa, and Geoffroy de Lagasnerie. Le Combat Adama. Paris: Stock, 2019.

Wihtol de Wenden, Catherine. Figures de l’autre: Perceptions Du Migrant En France, 1870-2022. Paris: CNRS éditions, 2022.