Postcolonial strangers in a cosmopolitan world

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Postcolonial strangers in a cosmopolitan world: hybridity and citizenship in the franco-maghrebian borderland …

Postcolonial strangers in a cosmopolitan world: hybridity and citizenship in the franco-maghrebian borderland
by Alina Sajed

Presented by Sasha Harrison

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  • 2. CITIZENSHIP STUDIES-AUGUST2010 Unstable condition of migrant Distinguish between various experiences of mobility, hybridity and citizenship Analysis: Class, Race and Language structure Argument: “Practices of postcolonial mobility in the Franco- Maghrebian context have produced differentiated and unequal hybridities, and, consequently, asymmetrical experiences of citizenship” (p. 363) “Postcolonial hybridity can also be employed to re-constitute the rigid boundaries of nation and citizenship” (p. 363)
  • 3. SAJED: INTRODUCTION Sajed~ uses narratives by Franco-Maghrebian authors (Assia Djebar, Tahar Ben Jelloun and Albert Memmi) to illustrate and mediate experiences of displacement of N. African migrants Maghreb-Arabic name for NW part of Africa. Includes Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and sometimes Libya Discerns between categories of exile and immigre-both hybrids but many differences (language, class, mobility)  Exile-defined as those who take pleasure from their dual attachment, includes mostly intellectuals who can communicate in multicultural manner, especially in writing-often still use French for academic communication  Immigre-defined as those who retain fantasies of a better life in Europe and a dignified return to their village in N. Africa. Experiences hybridity as confusing and not belonging anywhere. Want upward mobility to exile status
  • 4. LANGUAGE French-language of former colonizer  Then tool for liberation  Post independence- Arabization projects  Argument: “translating the experience of the immigre through the cosmopolitan filters of the exile illustrates the complicated politics of celebrating hybridity as the post-modern condition” (p. 365)
  • 5. POLITICS OF LANGUAGE France and the Maghreb- use of French in former colonies sensitive issue  Linguistic encounter violent (French and Arabization)  Language part of nation building  Maghreb politically independent from France, but still economically and culturally dependent  “Schizophrenic hybridity”  1990’s intellectuals using French persecuted- civil war  University subjects taught in French and Arabic  Choice between French and Arabic designates political choice between multiplicity/democracy and homogeneousness/totalitarianism (p. 367)
  • 6. ASSIA DJEBARTHE DISAPPEARANCE OF THEFRENCH LANGUAGE Berkane, Algerian migrant lived in France 20 years Return to homeland rediscover childhood and write book Character shows post-colonial contradictions faced by many Maghrebians  Participated in postcolonial struggle, suffered for freedom of nation, then leaving for France to find freedom and political tolerance  Writes book in French
  • 7. TAHAR BEN JELLOUNSOCIOLOGICAL ESSAYFRANCE: CONTROVERSY Discussed French hospitality towards migrants, esp. from N. Africa Author situates himself in middle (France and Morocco)  Although Arab, he is considered an assimilated French person-luxury  Politics of speaking French- language becomes what distinguishes assimilated from inassimilable (p. 368)
  • 8. MOBILITY Differentiated hybridities engendered by current practices of mobility Alters understanding of “transnational citizenship”- class, language  Exile- easy conversation with different cultures  Immigre- cultural limbo  Class mobility, monetary, subsidized housing, some members of French government don’t want upward movement of periphery “second generation”
  • 9. TAHAR BEN JELLOUN “the faces of migration in France are deeply racialized figures, whose presence evokes the uncomfortable memory of France’s lost empire and glory” (p. 371) Essay shows migrants (mostly masculine) that move from their native village to France for a better life but find only marginalization and racism. Seen as illegitimate children Jelloun thinks it’s ludicrous to call kids of migrants “second generation” since they are not migrants themselves
  • 10. ALBERT MEMMI Jelloun and Memmi- “by exiling oneself the intellectual chooses freedom over silence and oppression, and therefore for the diasporic intellectual the newly acquired mobility is nothing but salutary” (p. 371) Beurs- heart of cultural translation. “second generation” of immigration- born in France, limited connection to homeland- still treated as peripheries of French society. Banlieues (suburban ghettos) N. African migrant homes- exclusion Sajed-purpose of analysis- show how diasporic intellectual (exile) receives hospitality from France while immigre does not
  • 11. CONCLUSION: SAJED Immigre and Exile- more elements that separate than unite them  Separate- symbolic and literal geography, language, manners in which they experience mobility and hybridity  Migratory practices currently move beyond understood relationship between citizen and nation and the rigidly understood borders yet can also re-inscribe its boundaries.  Categories of immigre and exile are social categories constituted through relations of power (p. 376) (language, hybridity, racial profiling, socio- economic standing)
  • 12. MY ANALYSIS: LANGUAGE Language always an exclusive or inclusive factor- depending on relationship to it  Based on, familial background (what language you are raised with), educational opportunities(language education, study abroad, international student awareness, scholarships), career opportunities (training), class (socioeconomic status), type of government (social welfare support or capitalist etc)  Language preference based on economic factors- which language becomes most ubiquitous based on who is in power (British colonization- English, French colonization-French, China economic power- Cantonese or Mandarin)  Need education to equal playing field with who gains power via language-multiple languages should be taught in all schools to increase communication power between all nations. Explore options of unbiased language like Esperanto- easy to learn, no political power behind it
  • 13. MY ANALYSIS: MOBILITY Mobility is important in that everyone should be encouraged to be their very best-despite race, class, gender, citizenship status etc. Many afraid to encourage this because it could take away their power to even the playing field which means those at the top may have to sacrifice or be confronted with more competitive factors. While I believe in competitive advantages gained by hard work- other factors that determine success should be evened out through the implementation of equal educational opportunities.
  • 14. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS Many current critical theorizations within citizenship studies celebrate the condition of migrants- is this valid? What are the positive and negative aspects of the current condition for migrants globally? How can one encourage a more equitable treatment of individuals in society despite the tensions inherent in post-colonial relationships? What would this entail? How does language exclude and/or include individuals in a globalized world? Should citizens be encouraged to be multi-lingual or should we adopt one or two global lingua franca’s? How do we reconcile the need for security of employment, resources, morality, home, family, property etc mentioned toward the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for immigrants in a globalized and transcultural world? Will cosmopolitan and multicultural education take care of the differences for the exile and immigre? How? What else could we do to rectify this separation?