Dr Abdellali Hajjat (University of Paris Nanterre / IASH): How does the French State tackle everyday racism?
The paper is an overview of a new research agenda on racisms in France that suggests a global analysis of racism, which analyses the articulation between racist discourse analysis and everyday racism, the sociology of offenders and victims, the study of the judicial process, the spatial dimension or geography of racism, the everyday racism between minority groups, etc. Based on the study of 500 criminal cases before three different courts in France from 2005 to 2015, the project tries to understand why so many cases are not prosecuted, and how the criminal justice system works to favour racist impunity. The analysis of quantitative data (cases) and qualitative data (interviews, observations of hearings) is deployed. The analysis shows that the combination of certain social mechanisms, such as the police officers' reasoning focused on the "motive" of racism, the prosecutors' definition of the "good victim" or the prosecutors understanding of the "real racist situation", can explain the difficulty for the victims in being recognised as victims.