Podcast: The Republic Makes No Distinction Among Its Children — with Chahrazade Douah and Jean Beaman

professional headshot of Jean Beaman

July 14, 2023

Then-French Prime Minister Manuel Valls once remarked that “the Republic makes no distinction among its children.” Valls was not just speaking in platitudes: The French Republic officially does not recognize racial or religious divides, to the point that the government refuses to collect data regarding race or religion. “They don’t even recognize that as a category or as a box you can check on a form,” says sociologist Jean Beaman, an associate professor at University of California, Santa Barbara and the author of the book “Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants in France.” “France really prides itself on not making distinctions between members of French society,” Beaman tells New Lines magazine’s Erin Clare Brown. “That no matter what your origins are, you’re just as French as anyone else.”