Algeria in France: Transpolitics, Race, and Nation ( New Anthropologies of Europe Series) / Edition 1

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Overview

Algerian migration to France began at the end of the 19th century, but in recent years France’s Algerian community has been the focus of a shifting public debate encompassing issues of unemployment, multiculturalism, Islam, and terrorism. In this finely crafted historical and anthropological study, Paul A. Silverstein examines a wide range of social and cultural forms—from immigration policy, colonial governance, and urban planning to corporate advertising, sports, literary narratives, and songs—for what they reveal about postcolonial Algerian subjectivities. Investigating the connection between anti-immigrant racism and the rise of Islamist and Berberist ideologies among the "second generation" ("Beurs"), he argues that the appropriation of these cultural-political projects by Algerians in France represents a critique of notions of European or Mediterranean unity and elucidates the mechanisms by which the Algerian civil war has been transferred onto French soil.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Journal Middle East Women's Stds JMEWS - Ruth Mas

"[The author] has elaborated an incisive inquiry into the complex configurations of state power and minority agency that marks a central contribution to the academic study of transnationalism and globalization." —Ruth Mas, University of Colorado at Boulder, Journal Middle East Women's Stds JMEWS, Vol. 6, No. 2 Spring 2010

H-France - Tyler Stovall

"[A] richly nuanced and informative [analysis] of France at the beginning of the twenty-first century." —Tyler Stovall, University of California, Berkeley, H-France

Susan Terrio

"This is work of impressive erudition which is richly documented, theoretically sophisticated, and epistemologically provocative in that it situates itself firmly on a transnational axis linking France and Algeria across the Mediterranean." —Susan Terrio

John Bowen

"An insightful chronicle...." —John Bowen

David A. McMurray

"... a remarkable work about the dislocating effects of modernity... sure to be influential in the fields of postcolonial theory, French politics, and migration studies." —David A. McMurray

From the Publisher
"[A] richly nuanced and informative [analysis] of France at the beginning of the twenty-first century." —Tyler Stovall, University of California, Berkeley, H-France

".. admirably broad study...." —Times Literary Supplement

"... this is an important call that diaspora should become as important a theme in North African history as it has been in that of sub-Saharan Africa." —H-Africa

"An insightful chronicle...." —John Bowen

"This is work of impressive erudition which is richly documented, theoretically sophisticated, and epistemologically provocative in that it situates itself firmly on a transnational axis linking France and Algeria across the Mediterranean." —Susan Terrio

"[Silverstein] has elaborated an incisive inquiry into the complex configurations of state power and minority agency that marks a central contribution to the academic study of transnationalism and globalization." —Ruth Mas, University of Colorado at Boulder, Journal Middle East Women's Stds JMEWS, Vol. 6, No. 2 Spring 2010

"This informative and sophisticated work... examines Algerian immigration to France... [Silverstein] deftly summarizes the history of Franco-Algerian relations." —Foreign Affairs, March/April 2005

"[Silverstein] approaches his subjects through the medium of everyday life, following the random individuals encountered during his field work in the 1990s, applying an ethnographical methodology with a highly critical and self-reflexive awareness of the environment he shared with them.... [This] is a critical work in opening up a broader consideration of the complex set of identifications running between France, Algeria, and the wider Arab and Muslim world." —H-Levant, April, 2011

Journal Middle East Women's Stds JMEWS
[The author] has elaborated an incisive inquiry into the complex configurations of state power and minority agency that marks a central contribution to the academic study of transnationalism and globalization.—Ruth Mas, University of Colorado at Boulder, Journal Middle East Women's Stds JMEWS, Vol. 6, No. 2 Spring 2010

— Ruth Mas, University of Colorado at Boulder

Foreign Affairs

"This informative and sophisticated work... examines Algerian immigration to France... [Silverstein] deftly summarizes the history of Franco-Algerian relations." —Foreign Affairs, March/April 2005

Times Literary Supplement

".. admirably broad study...." —Times Literary Supplement

H-France
"[A] richly nuanced and informative [analysis] of France at the beginning of the twenty-first century." —Tyler Stovall, University of California, Berkeley, H-France

— Tyler Stovall, University of California, Berkeley

H-Africa

H-Africa

H-Levant

"[The author] approaches his subjects through the medium of everyday life, following the random individuals encountered during his field work in the 1990s, applying an ethnographical methodology with a highly critical and self-reflexive awareness of the environment he shared with them.... [This] is a critical work in opening up a broader consideration of the complex set of identifications running between France, Algeria, and the wider Arab and Muslim world." —H-Levant, April, 2011

Journal Middle East Women's Studiess JMEWS
"[The author] has elaborated an incisive inquiry into the complex configurations of state power and minority agency that marks a central contribution to the academic study of transnationalism and globalization." —Ruth Mas, University of Colorado at Boulder, Journal Middle East Women's Studiess JMEWS, Vol. 6, No. 2 Spring 2010

— Ruth Mas, University of Colorado at Boulder

Foreign Affairs
This informative and sophisticated work of anthropology examines Algerian immigration to France, focusing on immigrants in Paris after the end of the Algerian war and how they were affected by the Algerian civil war of the 1990s. Silverstein calls it a study in "transpolitics"—how transnational migration corrodes "nationalism's handling of people, territory, and politics." He deftly summarizes the history of Franco-Algerian relations, pointing out the French preference for the (allegedly less religious) Berbers over the Arabs, and finds that "the French nation-state has ... proved to be fundamentally ambivalent in its management of ethnoracial and linguistic differences, as it has simultaneously avowed or disavowed—produced and erased—subnational categories of identity." He also calls the state housing system a "site for economic exclusion and racism" that has prompted Algerian immigrants to "create their own structures of civility." Judging from their cultural output, he concludes that Algerians often feel unwelcome in both France and Algeria.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253217127
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 9/10/2004
  • Series: New Anthropologies of Europe Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul A. Silverstein is Professor of Anthropology at Reed College.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. Immigration Politics in the New Europe
2. Colonization and the Production of Ethnicity
3. Spatializing Practices: Migration, Domesticity, Urban Planning
4. Islam, Bodily Practice, and Social Reproduction
5. The Generation of Generations: Beur Identity and Political Agency
6. Beur Writing and Historical Consciousness
7. Transnational Social Formations in the New Europe
Conclusion

Indiana University Press

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