More French than the French: Strategies of Writers from Ethnic Minorities to overcome their marginalization

    Activiteit: Academic presentationAcademic


    Abstract: French writers from ethnic minorities, mainly originating from the underprivileged banlieues, are often marginalized in the French literary field, which is organized hierarchically. Even those born and raised in France are considered not entirely French and, as far as their literary output is concerned, they are put on a par with lesser-valued authors from French-speaking areas outside France. If their work is published at all, they mostly receive negative reviews, in which their ‘vulgar’, non-standard use of language is particularly criticized. Therefore, if these authors want to be acknowledged, they have an interest in countering this treatment. How can they achieve this? By distinguishing four different strategies in their work I will argue that these are primarily intended to show the French reader, and thus indirectly publishers and critics, that the writers concerned adhere to national standards and values, are fully integrated into French society, and therefore are entitled to claim a legitimate place in the French literary field.
    Gehouden opResearch Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics (DemCP)
    Mate van erkenningNational