Algeria in France

Algeria in France

Transpolitics, Race, and Nation
Paul A. Silverstein
Distribution: World
Publication date: 9/9/2004
ISBN: 978-0-253-00304-1
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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.

Author Bio

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


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"[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

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

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

". . . 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

"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

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

". . . 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

"[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

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Table of Contents

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