The social integration has always been a complicated topic to analyze, because there are always two points of view and both would have good reasons for existing. Sociologists have been asking themselves questions, making studies about how people from different origins have to work together and does not work and the only reason could be cultural and socialfactors. Many enterprises have a lot of successes in some countries but in others it is not possible to implement them because of the social and cultural factors.
I chose this topic because I am part of the social integration in France, I am living it , even if I am not staying for life. Adapting to a society is always difficult, you have culture, values, education behind and suddenly it is youagainst the language, the culture and social rules. Also I think, comparing the immigration problem in France with Mexico’s emigration problem.
Today, French population is aproximately 65,447,374 people, of which 62,793,432 live in France Metropolitan and 2,653,942 live in France oversea.
At the beginning of the 20th century, France's population was low compared to the other Europeancountries. However, the country's population increased after the World War II with the baby boom. The French fertility rate rebounded considerably, but economic growth in France was so high that new immigrants had to be brought into the country. Majority of immigrants were Portuguese as well as Arabs and Berbers from North Africa, especially Algeria.
Since the 19th century France has been acountry with a lot of migration. One from four inhabitants has foreign heritage. We can found Belgians, Swiss, Germans, Italians, Spanish, Portuguese, polish, Greeks, Maghrebians, Turkish, Chinese, Indochinese and Romanian. The biggest number of immigrants comes from the Maghreb. In total there are 4 millions and a half from which approximately one million and a half are naturalized but the other 3millions are still foreigners. French government estimates 400, 000 illegal immigrates.
Then between (1945-1974) France had a reconstruction and an economic growth called the Trente Glorieuses leaded to the labor-immigration in 1960, cheap work force for working in the reconstruction and for all the factories.
French law facilitated the immigration of thousands of colons, ethnic or nationalFrench from former colonies of North and West Africa, India and Indochina, to mainland France. 1.6 million European migrated from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
Since the 1980s, France has continued being a country of mass immigration. Meanwhile, the national birth rate, after continuing to drop for a time, began to rebound in the 1990s and currently the country's fertility rate is close tothe replacement level. In recent years, immigrants have accounted for one quarter of the population growth.
Now days, France has a problem of integration of all this migration, there are a lot of factors in this dilemma, for example:
Religion: this part is really an important problem, because traditionally France is a catholic country, with catholic calendar and “catholic values” all of thisbecause of the history and education since many years ago. Even if the state it’s secular there are social conventions derivate from the catholic religion that makes the 4 to 5 millions of maghrebians immigrants with Islamic believes hard to integrate. An example is the problem of the veil and women rights that Islamic religion puts in discussion.
Language: The language it is a big issue becauseit is necessary in the day-to-day activities and for finding a job. Also the French culture and the people are really tied to the language, so for them to accept you it’s necessary to speak French. This I prove it in my year experience, living in France, at first I didn’t speak any French and the first six months were really hard to find local friends after six months and a lot of french classes...