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Muslim Youth Identities Among Beur: An Analysis of North African Immigrants and Self-Perceptions in France

Miller, Lynette M (2010) Muslim Youth Identities Among Beur: An Analysis of North African Immigrants and Self-Perceptions in France. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This paper explores the identities of Beur youth, both in terms of ethnic French perceptions of this group, as well as the Beur perspective of their individual and collective cultural identities. "Beur" refers to second and third generation immigrant youth in France of North African origins, and has become a nominator for an ethnic and cultural minority group in France. This minority group has spurred the development of activist groups, a unique sub-genre of hip-hop music, a slang dialect of French, and an entire French sub-culture. Noting this growing presence and influence of Beur culture in France, I posit the question: What roles do integration and inclusion in society play in Beur youth's development of individual identity and larger group identity, particularly in France? I examine this question through an exploratory qualitative research study to understand how Arab-Muslim immigrant youth, i.e. the Beurs, in France perceive their identity. Tensions are rising within Muslim immigrant communities in the western hemisphere. Such controversies as the 2005 riots around Paris, the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., and the ongoing headscarf debates have given negative attention to Muslims and Arabs in the West. These events, combined with the underlying issues of unemployment, poverty, crime, and civil violence are bringing to the forefront concerns with North African immigrants in France. While researchers have extensively studied and discussed broader policy issues relating to these minority populations from an external perspective, immigrant and Beur youth themselves have received little direct involvement in the interview and research process. Here, I am examine how Beur youth experience feelings of belonging, alienation, and a sense of personal self-worth through political and social action and popular culture.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Miller, Lynette Mlmiller1@pitt.eduLMILLER1
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBamyeh, Mohammedmab205@pitt.eduMAB205
Date: 3 June 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 2 April 2010
Approval Date: 3 June 2010
Submission Date: 22 April 2010
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Beur; France; Identity; Immigrant; Muslim Youth; North Africa
Other ID:, etd-04222010-123727
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:41
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:41


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