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Second-generation migrants: Maghrebis in France

Migration A–Z


  1. Sylvie Durmelat and Vinay Swamy

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm599

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Swamy, S. D. a. V. 2013. Second-generation migrants: Maghrebis in France. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


The term “second-generation immigrants” is often used to designate the children of immigrants born in the country to which their parents migrated from their homeland. The term holds sway especially in contemporary France, a nation that historically has seen a large influx of immigrants since at least the late 19th century. Admittedly, there are several complications that need to be considered in order to understand the denotation and connotations of this term. It is the position of the authors of this essay that the designation “second-generation immigrant” is an oxymoron and is an unfortunate and unsatisfactory formulation, one that we would like to problematize. The term negates the multifaceted work of integration performed by immigrants and their descendants, and continues to stigmatize descendants of immigrants as foreign bodies, as if they could not but inherit their parents' status and thus are still considered to be (de facto) “second class” citizens in their parents' country of residence.


  • cross-cultural;
  • cultural diversity;
  • ethnocentrism;
  • racism;
  • citizenship