In search of an elusive anti-discrimination policy

Report: Discrimination and law
A sociology of what is lacking
By Joan Stavo-Debauge

This article addresses one of the first French racial anti-discrimination policy initiatives, le parrainage à l’emploi (employment mentoring), institutionalized in 1998 at a period of time in which the intellectual climate was hostile to the public categorization of “race” and ethnicity. The author undertakes the ethnography of this mentorship program and demonstrates why it was not adequately equipped to fight discrimination. Bringing together a sociology of public action and a sociology of public problems, he explores what was lacking in this initiative and uses the case study to interrogate the criteria through which scholars usually assess the emergence and the proposed solutions of a public problem.


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