The social issues in the french suburbs

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Benjamin KERVIEL

Case study : The issues in the French Suburbs

Since the late 1970s a new problem emerged in French political debates: the problem of les banlieues (the suburbs).
Sincethen the French Suburbs have become, in popular opinion, in the media and amongst France's political élites, a demonized space of social fragmentation, racial conflict, (sub)urban decay, criminality andviolence.
In France, the word banlieue (suburb) evokes negative connotations such as drugs, crime, delinquency, civil disorder, Islamic fundamentalism and even terrorism. The french suburbs are notfull of comfortable houses for an affluent middle class ( contrary to the english or the north american aception of the word ), but are composed, rather, of large high-rise blocks full of the verypoorest of France's population.
The issue of the French Suburbs became particularly prominent from the early 1980s onwards, and in particular, during the summer of 1990 and 1991, when violentconfrontations between suburban youths and the police took place in a number of the suburbs surrounding France's major cities like, for example, Sartrouville and La Corneuve near Paris and Vaulx-en-Velin andVénissieux near Lyon. Riots and related acts of violence against cars, phone boxes and bus shelters appear to have become a feature of the 'festivities' in the suburbs of many French cities (e.g.Strasbourg, Mulhouse, Nantes and Bordeaux).
Further more, the crisis in the french suburbs is far from resolved. Indeed the 2005 civil unrest in France of October and November (in French Les émeutes debanlieues de 2005) was a series of riots involving mainly the burning of cars and public buildings at night starting on 27 October 2005 in Clichy-sous-Bois. Events spread to poor housing projects (thecités HLM) in various parts of France. A state of emergency was declared on 8 November 2005. It was extended for three months on 16 November by the Parliament. This suburban riots appears as the...
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