Promotion and marginalization of ethnic “diversity” candidates in a Parisian suburb

By Marie Cartier, Isabelle Coutant, Olivier Masclet, Yasmine Siblot

The article is based on a fieldwork in Villenois, a suburb near Paris. We conducted research on the candidates at the last local elections and we focused on the people who entered local political life during these elections. Ethnic “diversity” played an important role in these elections. We underline the relationship between the renewal of the lists and the evolutions in population and we study the social background of the people considered as representatives of the “diversity” of the population. According to the Socialist mayor, the main criterion was civic and local commitment; in fact he chose people with high professional positions or high levels of education. The composition of the independent list that appeared during these elections suggests on the contrary the marginalization of other minority representatives whose political ambitions have been considered as illegitimate. Paying attention to all the lists in competition allows us to highlight both the opening and the closing process of the local political game.


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