The ethnic and racial origin of the immigrants and their descent in the public statistics : the relations between the French scientific and political fields in the lights of a controversy

Clarisse fordant

Nationality French

Year of selection 2008

Institution Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS)

Country France

Risk Socio-Economics


3 years

Ethnic Statistics under Debate

In the mid-1990s, the French National Institute for Demographic Studies (Institut national d'études démographiques) was the stage for heated debates on the construction of ethnic and racial categories to classify foreign-born residents and their children. Today, these debates extend far beyond the simple field of demographics: “they question the relevance and validity of the categories used as part of public policy on immigration, integration and the fight against immigration in France,” explains Clarisse Fordant. Using a socio-historical approach, she aims to better articulate the relationship between what is commonly referred to as science and politics. Her work should serve as a basis for contemporary reflection on the notions of expertise, inequality and democracy.

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