Where We Come From and Where We Are Going: Negotiating Identity Politics in Haalpulaar Mauritanian Communities in Paris, France
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This thesis examines first generation and migrant Mauritanians' negotiations of their identities and heritage in Paris, France. It is based on 3 months of ethnographic research, funded by the Center for the Study of Women in Society, the Center on Diversity and Community, and the Slape Fellowship. The theory on "third way" transnational identity argues that migrants' and first generations' identifications with their heritage can protect them from discrimination. I explore situational identity, gender, life stages, and the third way in suburban Paris. I find that, due to discrimination, the first generation may choose to identify with their culture, ethnicity, or nationality of origin. Contrary to French politicians who claim that culture prevents assimilation, I found that ethnocultural identity and community may serve as a professional resource for first generation women. On the other hand, first generation men and women may also reject their ethnocultural identification and traditions.