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(Inter)racialisation: the regulation of domestic and urban space in housing North-African migrants in 1960s and 1970s France

Rébecca Suzanne Franco

Mig. Pol. 1, 003 (2022) · published 25 May 2022


Literature on immigrant housing and assimilation has shown how housing policies perpetuate, create and contest racial boundaries. This paper argues for the necessity to look at the regulation of domestic space together with the regulation of the urban space. By reading “along” and “against” the archival grain, this paper looks at housing policies that targeted the North-African migrant population in the 1960s and 1970s in France as colonial continuities. French authorities ostensibly encouraged gendered assimilation through spatial politics and interventions in the domestic space. Literature on the French context has shown how this perpetuated racialisation in the housing process. Building upon feminist scholarship on gender, intimacy, and colonialism, this paper shows how these policies did not acknowledge interracialised households and prevented interracialised intimacies. This helps understand how housing policies can reinforce racialised exclusion by regulating racial boundaries in the urban space and the domestic space together.

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