Multiculturalism Analysis

1240 Words5 Pages
Multiculturalism, Europe’s grand experiment in expanded immigration, has failed in France. While France is known as a country of immigration, it struggles with its current identity as a multiculturalist society and its relatively recent secular principles have created what politicians are calling an ‘ethnic apartheid’. Although religious pluralism exists in France, its society has become primarily secular. As of March 2004 the French government has become a self-declared secular state, clearly stating that religious practice is strictly forbidden in public, as to refrain from instigating religious conflict or resentment. As a result, Muslim communities residing in various cities in France have become increasingly segregated from Western society.…show more content…
The “deindustrialisation and metropolisation of Paris are to a large extent responsible for this, leading to a decline in the number of manual jobs and an increase in the numbers of executives and service-sector professionals within the city’s populace” . The irony is that while state intervention attempts to regenerate these areas, they may also create unintended consequences; by improving transport, access to free cultural activities and social cohesion, they are automatically made more desirable places to live. Consequently, rent prices begin to rise and displacement of the very people who were trying to be ‘helped’ occurs. Harding and Blokland (146) refer to Clay’s work (1979) which distinguishes between four phases of gentrification; artists, bohemians, and individuals willing to take risks come in search of cheap housing and are further followed by developers and investors. However, when the media picks up that an area is transforming and becoming ‘hip’, more established middle classes take an interest in the place and subsequently, prices rise. Eventually, middle class professionals are out priced by managers and business elites. This classic model however, appears to be more complex in the case of Parisian gentrification: the pioneering role of artists is debatable, and changes in residential and retail occupation prove to be less interconnected than in North American cities . One could argue that gentrification in these French Neighborhoods has become problematic because they have become a source of investment rather than a place to live, therefore downplaying the social and cultural traditions of these neighborhoods. According to Clerval, the creation of new social housing has not been sufficient either to meet needs or to compensate for
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