A White and Secular Habitus?

Evidence from France

In: Religion and Gender
Charlotte Corchete OSC—Sciences Po Paris France Paris

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While about half of the French population declare themselves to be non-religious, there is little research on how norms of secularization and secularism shape majority/minority stereotypes in France. Based on ethnographic research conducted through participant observation and semi-directive interviews in a multi-cultural Parisian neighborhood, this paper investigates these issues. It specifically analyzes the relations between white women and ethnic minority men in the context of an ethnically diverse neighborhood. The findings show that religiosity intersects with ethno-racial origin and gender in producing stereotypes about male ethnic minorities. Moreover, religiosity shapes white women’s discourses and behaviors about their own gender identity.

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