Reconciling the French dilemma : attitudes of the French Millennial generation towards Maghrebi immigration and assimilation in France
May 10, 2017
Department or Program
This study investigates the attitudes of the French Millennial generation towards Maghrebi immigrants in France, as well as their opinions on the related issues of ethnic diversity and the role of Islam in France. Does the French Millennial generation uphold traditional republican ideals in terms of immigrant assimilation? Having been educated in the French national school system, does this generation maintain nationalistic ideas or have factors such as growing up with access to the Internet and social media in a globalizing world allowed for different expectations of immigrant assimilation and increased acceptance of ethnic and religious diversity? Data from an electronic survey distributed via snowball sampling in February 2017 (n=190) reveal that the French Millennials of this study tend to be politically left-leaning and view immigration and diversity positively. While they continue to uphold some aspects of French Republicanism (such as color-blind policy and secularism), they also reject some republican values (such as aspects of the republican model of integration). In general, they do not see Maghrebi immigration at odds with republicanism. Additionally, they view Islam in France positively and are able to differentiate between Muslim immigrants from the Maghreb and Islamic extremists. Finally, respondents have not changed their positive attitudes towards Maghrebi immigrants or the European Union, even after several terrorist attacks in France by Islamic extremists. They are also not supportive of the growing popularity of Marine Le Pen’s party, the National Front. Male respondents tended to be less supportive of ethnic diversity and immigration than females. This could simply be the result of this particular sample; however, more research into this area could reveal if this is a significant trend and if there are perhaps reasons why French Millennial men would view Maghrebi immigration more negatively than would women.