CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Since the early 1980s, the French public sphere has been marked by the construction of a “Muslim problem”, which has become a social evidence among the elite. This article analyzes the construction of this evidence through a sociology of the High Council for Integration (HCI), whose members belong to multiple elite fractions (politicians, academics, high civil servants, intellectuals, journalists, activists, etc.) and which constitutes a “neutral place” that allowed for the universalization of the “Muslim problem”. We assume a generalized heteronomy that promotes the action of multi-positioned agents reaching to transform and circulate the idea of a “Muslim problem” in several social spaces. By analyzing the stages of problematisation of Islam by the HCI between 1989 and 2012, we show that this heteronomy involved a redefinition of the “Muslim problem” through media terms and that the work of mobilization against the “Muslim problem” provoked a transformation of the secular standard (emergence of a “field of secularism”) and institution (from “Committee of Wise Men” to “government think tank”).


  • Islam
  • Muslim
  • secularism
  • hijab
  • ideology
  • social capital
  • elites
  • field
Julien Beaugé
Abdellali Hajjat
Latest publication on cairn or another partner portal
Distribution électronique pour P.U.F. © P.U.F.. Tous droits réservés pour tous pays. Il est interdit, sauf accord préalable et écrit de l’éditeur, de reproduire (notamment par photocopie) partiellement ou totalement le présent article, de le stocker dans une banque de données ou de le communiquer au public sous quelque forme et de quelque manière que ce soit.
Loading... Please wait