Les "relations interculturelles" : trajectoire sociale d'une catégorie réformatrice

Abstract : This study follows the trajectory of the category of “intercultural relations”, both an academic and a public policy category. It analyses, in the French context, its first formulations in the beginnings of the 1960’s, its various forms of institutionalization along the 1980’s and describes its progressive invisibilization until the 2000’s. This study investigates the way different actors use this category in a scientific, administrative or political way in order to consider the presence of immigrants in the French society. The mobilization of this category led these sociologists, educationalists and civil servants to rethink the immigration phenomenon. Instead of looking at the dynamics of social classes or with an assimilationist view, they put the cultural dimension of immigrant workers’ presence in France at the heart of the analysis. At the centre of this study lies the analysis of the emergence of this scientific category coined via critical knowledge and used as a reforming public policy category which targets representations of a so-called “racist French public opinion”. The investigation is carried out at the crossroads of socio-historical analysis of a category and the study of the construction of policy problems. It is based on (partly unreleased) archives of public organizations, depending from the Ministry of social affairs, in charge of implementing insertion policies and promoting intercultural relations. This study also relies on the grey literature produced both by the main promoters of this cause, and various State agencies as well as interviews with both kinds of actors. These empirical data are examined through two approaches: first the analysis of the relations between knowledge and public policy; and second, the relations between organisations and public policy. The thesis shows that the idealistic dimension of this category promoting a harmonious management of intercultural relations has not been present very long in the government’’ agenda. However, this category has been used as a long-lasting regulation device for the interactions between street-level civil servants and immigrants constituents. It also shows that the institutionalization of this knowledge in an organization at the margin of the State and the strategies developed to fight a “racist public opinion” contributed to forge and feed a depoliticized antiracism. Investigating on a barely visible category, the thesis aims at giving an account of the process of the redefinition of the boundary between State and society which is at the heart of the pedagogical role of the State.
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Narguesse Keyhani. Les "relations interculturelles" : trajectoire sociale d'une catégorie réformatrice. Sociologie. École normale supérieure de Cachan - ENS Cachan, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014DENS0039⟩. ⟨tel-01432367⟩

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