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New Ways of Integrating Refugees Making the Most of the French Context

Sylvie Chevrier


The paper describes and critically analyzes recent initiatives to support refugees in finding employment in France. First, the paper briefly presents the societal context of the professional integration of migrants in France. It describes the 'republican' societal model of integration that values the equality of individuals and is reluctant to identify particular groups that would be treated in a differentiated way. It also maps out the traditional actors of integration: public agencies, third sector organisations and employers. The mapping highlights the problematic coordination of actors leading to disruptions in the integration trajectories of refugees. The historical, social and cultural context being set, the article introduces new actors contributing to the professional integration of refugees and their initiatives. As 'social start-ups', civil society structures share a certain understanding of professional integration based on a collaborative approach to integration and focused on refugees as equal participants with the project promoters and no longer as beneficiaries of top-down assistance from "French people who help refugees" and the use of digital tools. They are implementing new practices based on the empowerment and agency of refugees. The objective is to promote networking that will enable refugees to carry out their projects. Digital tools are at the heart of these support and empowerment initiatives. Based on public sources and interviews, the article analyses the experience of three of these new structures. It shows how those initiatives both renew practices and fit the societal and cultural French context.
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Dates and versions

hal-03047343 , version 1 (08-12-2020)


  • HAL Id : hal-03047343 , version 1


Sylvie Chevrier, Aurélie Sara Cognat. New Ways of Integrating Refugees Making the Most of the French Context. EURAM, Dec 2020, Dublin, Ireland. ⟨hal-03047343⟩
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