Laicite as assimilation, laicite as negotiation : Political geographies of secularism in the French public school

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dc.contributor.author Lizotte, Christopher
dc.date.accessioned 2020-12-22T09:17:01Z
dc.date.available 2020-12-22T09:17:01Z
dc.date.issued 2020-03
dc.identifier.citation Lizotte , C 2020 , ' Laicite as assimilation, laicite as negotiation : Political geographies of secularism in the French public school ' , Political Geography , vol. 77 , 102121 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2019.102121
dc.identifier.other PURE: 133546621
dc.identifier.other PURE UUID: bae160a5-7e82-4dac-8817-e8a9b48fd7b3
dc.identifier.other WOS: 000524361600008
dc.identifier.other ORCID: /0000-0001-9585-8701/work/85817482
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10138/323601
dc.description.abstract Laicite, France's idiosyncratic form of secularism, is a complex concept that is dense with historical genealogy, practical contradictions and - crucially - political geographies. In particular, contemporary Laicite is characterized by a state-sponsored model of universal citizenship that regards French Muslims' identity claims with mistrust. This tension, always latent, was brought to the fore by a series of attacks perpetrated self-styled jihadists in January 2015, centered on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo notorious for its provocations against Islam. The attacks and their aftermath also highlighted a key space where conflicts over Laicite often play out: the French public school, the ecole republicaine. This institution was conceived in its modern form as a mechanism to assimilate through laique pedagogy. Today it is a highly visible space where the optics of race and gender contribute to a narrative of Muslim communautarisme, a willful and defiant communalism that rejects the republican community of citizens. Following a handful of incidents in which students refused to participate in a moment of silence for the victims of the January 2015 attacks, the Ministry of Education undertook an initiative involving disciplinary and pedagogical supports for Laicite in the schools, called the Great Mobilisation for the Republic's Values. Like other past interventions in this area, it operationalizes an assimilating vision of Laicite to bring recalcitrant peripheries into compliance with republican norms. At the same time, though, it reveals the agency of the peripheries to negotiate the terms of Laicite according to local knowledge and needs. On the basis of interviews with educators serving in schools where elements of the Grand Mobilisation were carried out, I show how they push back against the overarching narratives that characterize the initiative and in so doing construct localized and nuanced understandings of the laique social pact. en
dc.format.extent 10
dc.language.iso eng
dc.relation.ispartof Political Geography
dc.rights cc_by_nc_nd
dc.rights.uri info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.subject 519 Social and economic geography
dc.subject laïcité
dc.subject communautarisme
dc.subject French Islam
dc.subject public education
dc.subject assimilation
dc.subject negotiation
dc.subject Laicite
dc.subject Communautarisme
dc.subject French Islam
dc.subject Public education
dc.subject Assimilation
dc.subject Negotiation
dc.subject ISLAM
dc.subject GEOPOLITICS
dc.subject RELIGION
dc.subject FRANCE
dc.subject BODY
dc.subject VEIL
dc.subject FEAR
dc.title Laicite as assimilation, laicite as negotiation : Political geographies of secularism in the French public school en
dc.type Article
dc.contributor.organization Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
dc.contributor.organization Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies (Urbaria)
dc.contributor.organization Department of Geosciences and Geography
dc.description.reviewstatus Peer reviewed
dc.relation.doi https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2019.102121
dc.relation.issn 0962-6298
dc.rights.accesslevel openAccess
dc.type.version publishedVersion

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