Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 June 2011
Two crucial terms in discussions about racial or ethnic relations – ‘discrimination’ and ‘integration’ – first appeared in official French documents in the 1950s. They quickly became key references in the government’s pioneering efforts, in response to the Algerian revolution, to recognize the importance and fight against the effects of French racism on ‘Muslim French citizens from Algeria’. This policy was named ‘integrationism’; its premises and measures had overseas inspirations and it was bureaucrats from an international organization who made such policy models available for French adoption. All of this was possible because of transnational networks of social scientists, which included some who helped author them as well as others who studied and wrote about them. More specifically, it was projects and claims from Mexico that provided the most direct references for French integrationist policies and it was through the efforts of UNESCO that French integrationists gained detailed knowledge about them.
1 On the transnational, see e.g. Micol Seigel, ‘Beyond compare: comparative method after the transnational turn’, Radical History Review, 91, 2005, pp. 62–90; and Todd Shepard, ‘Making French and European coincide: decolonization and the politics of comparative and transnational histories’, Ab Imperio: Studies of New Imperial History and Nationalism in the Post-Soviet Space, 2, 27, September 2007, pp. 339–60.
2 Among the large and growing Anglophone historiography on Mexican indigenismo, I have found the following to be the most useful, largely because they pay some attention to the particularities of intégracion: Dawson, Alexander S., Indian and nation in revolutionary Mexico, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2004Google Scholar; Alan Knight, ‘Racism, revolution, and indigenismo: Mexico, 1910–1940’, in Graham, Richard, ed., The idea of race in Latin America, 1870–1940, Austin, TX: University of Texas, 1990, pp. 71–114Google Scholar; Lewis, Stephen E., The ambivalent revolution: forging state and nation in Chiapas, 1910–1945, Albuqurque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2005Google Scholar; Guillermo Palacios, ‘Postrevolutionary intellectuals, rural readings and the shaping of the “peasant” problem’ in Mexico: El Maestro Rural, 1932–34’, Journal of Latin American Studies, 30, 2, May 1998, pp. 309–39; Hartch, Todd, Missionaries of the state: the Summer Institute of Linguistics, state formation, and indigenous Mexico, 1935–1985, Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 2006Google Scholar; Rick Lopez, ‘Lo mas mexicano de Mexico: popular arts, Indians, and urban intellectuals in the ethnicization of postrevolutionary national culture, 1920–1972’, PhD thesis, Yale University, 2001;. Ruben Flores, ‘States of culture: relativism and national consolidation in Mexico and the United States, 1910–1950’, PhD thesis, University of California, Berkeley, 2006; de Alcántara, Cynthia Hewitt, Anthropological perspectives on rural Mexico, London: Routledge, 1984Google Scholar; Nancy P. Appelbaum, ‘Post-revisionist scholarship on race’, Latin American Research Review, 40, 3, 2005, pp. 206–17.
3 On other ways that Mexican social science and state policies shaped US developments, see Karin Alejandra Rosemblatt, ‘Other Americas: transnationalism, scholarship, and the culture of poverty in Mexico and the United States’, Hispanic American Historical Review, 89, 4, 2009, pp. 603–41.
4 See e.g. Barkan, Elazar, The retreat of scientific racism, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992Google Scholar; Michelle Brattain, ‘Race, racism, and antiracism: UNESCO and the politics of presenting science to the postwar public’, American Historical Review, 112, 5, December 2007, pp. 1386–1413.
5 UNESCO Archives, Paris (henceforth UNESCO), 323.12 A 102, Métraux, ‘Mon cher ami, SS/378.976’, 27 April 1953.
6 Cheng Chi-Pao, ‘Integration is keynote of UNESCO’s 1950 education programme, UNESCO Courier, 11, 9, 1 November 1949, p. 9.
7 Their public campaign led to the 1951 rephrasing of the statement, which also followed on from the numerous public controversies, most notably in Los Angeles, that saw right-wing groups target UNESCO-run information campaigns. See Brattain, ‘Race’. On discrimination, see e.g. UNESCO 323.12/668/A 53//323.12 A 102 Part I, A. Métraux, draft: ‘Monsieur le President’, Paris, n.d. (January 1955?), pp. 1–6; and ‘Point 4 de l’ordre du jour provisoire: Échange de vues sur les méthodes les plus efficaces pour lutter contre les préjugés et les mesures discriminatoires; E/NGO/Conf.1/3’, Paris, 25 February 1955.
8 UNESCO 323.1, 96/IICI 0001, ‘Suggestions for research on race relations in Brazil’, n.d., pp. 1–10, emphasis added. For a radical critique of the efforts of Wirth and of other Chicago School empirical studies of racism, which also describes their distinction between ‘prejudice’ and ‘discrimination’, see Joyce Ladner, The death of white sociology: essays on race and culture, Baltimore, MD: Black Classic Press, 1998 (1st edn 1973), pp. 175–6.
9 UNESCO 323.12/668/A 53/323.12 A 102/Dossier ‘1955’, Alfred Métraux, ‘Objet: rapport de mission à Genève’, 1955, p. 4; Métraux gives additional insights into the role that UNESCO played in introducing the concept of discrimination into French discussions in Itinéraires, t. 1: carnet de notes et journaux de voyages, Paris: Payot, 1978. See, in particular, his exchange with René Cassin, pp. 497–9.
10 Wagley, Charles and Harris, Marvin, Minorities in the New World: six case studies, New York: Columbia University Press, 1958, pp. 48, 49Google Scholar. See also Chloé Maurel, ‘L’UNESCO de 1945 à 1974’, PhD thesis, Université Paris I, 2006, ch. 6.
11 Flores, ‘States of culture’, pp. 114–17, 169, 267.
12 Dawson, Indian and nation, p. 7.
13 On French assimilationism, see Betts, Raymond F., Assimilation and association in French colonial theory, 1890–1914, New York: Columbia University Press, 1970Google Scholar; and Conklin, Alice, A ‘mission to civilize’: the republican idea of empire in France and West Africa, 1895–1930, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997Google Scholar.
14 On incorporation and fusion, as well as related policies, see Dawson, Indian and nation, esp. ch. 1 (incorporation); Flores, ‘States of culture’, p. 70.
16 Deborah Posel, ‘A mania for measurement: statistics and statecraft in the transition to apartheid’, in Dubow, Saul, ed., Science and society in southern Africa, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000, p. 121Google Scholar.
17 Miguel Vale de Almeida, ‘Anthropology and ethnography of the Portuguese-speaking empire’, in Poddar, Prem, Patke, Rajeev, and Jensen, Lars, eds., A historical companion to postcolonial literature: continental Europe and its empires, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008, pp. 435–9Google Scholar.
18 Hammond-Tooke, Imperfect interpreters, p. 53. See also Saul Dubow, ‘The elaboration of segregationist ideology’, in Beinart, William and Dubow, Saul, eds., Segregation and apartheid in twentieth-century South Africa, London: Routledge, 1995, pp. 161–4Google Scholar.
19 SABRA, Separation or integration?, Stellenbosch, South Africa: Sabra, 1950, discussed in John Lazar, ‘Verwoerd versus the “visionaries”: the South African Bureau of Racial Affairs (SABRA) and apartheid, 1948–1961’, in Bonner, Philip, Delius, Peter, and Posel, Deborah, eds., Apartheid’s genesis, 1935–1962, Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 2001, p. 363Google Scholar.
20 See Posel, ‘Mania’, pp. 123–6.
21 Wade, Peter, Race and ethnicity in Latin America, London: Pluto Press, 1997, p. 53Google Scholar.
22 On Portugal, see Miguel Vale de Almeida, ‘Portugal’s colonial complex: from colonial Lusotropicalism to postcolonial Lusophony’, unpublished paper for Queen’s Postcolonial Research Forum, Queen’s University, Belfast, 28 April 2008, http://site.miguelvaledealmeida.net/wp-content/uploads/portugals-colonial-complex.pdf (consulted 16 March 2011). Although only speculative, it seems possible that Brazil’s close alliance with the US and the distance it kept from other South and Central American governments might offer additional explanation for the country’s marginalization in UNESCO race discussions.
23 UNESCO 323.12 A 102 Part I/Dossier ‘1955’, ‘Point 4 de l’ordre du jour provisoire’, p. 4; see also UNESCO 323.1, 96/IICI 0001, 1–3, G. de Larcharriere, ‘A: CM Berkeley/ Objet: prévention des discriminations et protection des minorités / SS/memo/52/1942’, 19 May 1952.
24 Lewis, Ambivalent revolution, p. 60.
25 UNESCO /ED/SEM.53/11, ‘L’assimilation linguistique et culturelle des immigrants en Australie’, Paris, 24 April 1953, pp. 1–22.
26 UNESCO 375 (72) A 63 MCM, J. B. Bowers, ‘Draft letter for submission to external relations: to Prof. Guillermo Bonilla’, n.d., pp. 1–3.
27 UNESCO 375 (72) A 63 MCM, J. B. Bowers, ‘Temporary appointment of Mr. Lloyd Hughes’, 12 October 1948; UNESCO 375 (72) A 63 MCM, L. R. Fernig, ‘Dear Mr. Lloyd Hughes’, 14 April 1949. See Hughes, Lloyd H., Les missions culturelles mexicaines, Paris: UNESCO, 1950Google Scholar; idem, The Haiti pilot project: phase one, 1947–1949, Paris: UNESCO, 1951. On Mexico’s role in fundamental education at the upper levels of UNESCO, see Jones, Phillip W., International policies for Third World education: UNESCO, literacy, and development, London: Routledge, 1988, pp. 21–4Google Scholar; Jones also discusses (pp. 80–4) how Haiti’s pilot programme was later used in UNESCO’s Mexican projects.
28 Lewis, Ambivalent revolution, pp. 62–3; Flores, ‘States of culture’, pp. 114–15.
29 Cárdenas always insisted that the goal was to ‘Mexicanize’ the Indians and remained open to the assimilationist ideas linked to Gamio. Integrationism never clearly carried the day over incorporation, despite the fact that numerous policies and agencies embraced an integrationist approach.
30 On the Soviet debates and policies, see esp. Cadiot, Juliette, Le laboratoire impérial: Russie-URSS, 1870–1940, Paris: CNRS, 2007Google Scholar; also, Hirsch, Francine, Empire of nations: ethnographic knowledge and the making of the Soviet Union, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005Google Scholar. On Mexican use of Soviet nationalities policy, see de Alcántara, Anthropological perspectives, p. 17; Appelbaum, ‘Post-revisionist scholarship’, pp. 214–15. On Cárdenas and campesino policy, see Boyer, Christopher, Becoming campesinos: politics, identity, and agrarian struggle in postrevolutionary Michoacán, 1920–1935, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003Google Scholar.
31 Edward H. Spicer, ‘Mexican Indian policies’, in Washburn, Wilcomb E., History of Indian–White relations, Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1988, p. 107Google Scholar.
32 Cited in Juan Comas, ‘Racial myths’, in UNESCO, The race question in modern science, Paris: UNESCO, 1951, p. 41Google Scholar.
34 Soustelle, Jacques, Mexique: terre indienne, Paris: Grasset, 1935Google Scholar; idem, La famille Otomi-Pame du Mexique central, Paris: Institut d’ethnologie, 1937; idem, ‘La culture matérielle des Lacondons’, Journal de la Société des Américanistes, 39, 1, 1937, pp. 1–95.
35 Lewis, Ambivalent revolution, p. 37; L. S. Tireman, A community school in a Spanish-speaking village, Albuqurque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1948. On the ‘Statement on race’ and Mein Kampf, see Stoczkowski, Wiktor, Anthropologies émancipatrices: le monde selon Claude Lévi-Strauss, Paris: Hermann, 2008, pp. 72–4Google Scholar. On UNESCO difficulties getting information on Soviet basic education policies, see Maurel, ‘L’UNESCO de 1945 à 1974’, ch 6.
36 Hartch, Missionaries, p. 58.
38 Brattain, ‘Race and racism’, pp. 1386–1413; This also had an effect domestically: the French press regularly (and critically) reported on resistance in other countries to UNESCO-approved antiracist exhibits.
39 UNESCO 323.1, 96/IICI 0001, 3, ‘Communication du représentant de l’UNESCO à la sous-commission de la lutte contre les mesures discriminatoires et de la protection des minorités, le 25 janvier 1955’.
40 UNESCO, Jeunesse et éducation de base, with preface by Luther Evans, Paris, December 1954, pp. 16–17.
41 ‘Terminlogie. Impérialisme (groupe français)’, Bulletin international des sciences sociales, 8, 1, 1956, pp. 137–9.
42 Phillip Jones, ‘Comment l’éducation universelle est devenue une idée universelle: un enjeu des premières années de l’UNESCO’, in UNESCO: 60 ans après, Paris: UNESCO, 2007, p. 422.
43 Chloé Maurel, ‘L’UNESCO face aux enjeux de la politique inernationale (1945–1974)’, in UNESCO, p. 296.
44 Michel Fourcade, ‘Coopérer dans un monde divisé: l’apport de Maritain à la philosophie de l’UNESCO’, in UNESCO, p. 145.
45 Maurel, ‘L’UNESCO’, p. 296.
46 Christophe Gillisen, ‘Ireland, France and the question of Algeria at the United Nations, 1955–62’, Irish Studies in International Affairs, 19, 2008, p. 152; Nadia Boulharouf, ‘La France et le problème algérien à l’ONU, 1955–1957’, MA thesis, Paris, 1992, pp. 55–7.
47 Documents surrounding the decision to hire Lloyd Hughes to report on the Mexican cultural mission offer some intriguing evidence about this touchy topic.
48 UNESCO WS/115.102, 1–67, André Montessuit/UNESCO, ‘Rapport de M. A.M. sur les observations dans le domaine de l’éducation populaire, l'enseignement agricole, et l'économie agricole’, Paris, 30 November 1955, p. 1.
49 See UNESCO 375 (72) A 63 MCM. Freyre’s claims about Brazilian ‘racial democracy’, as is well known, also emerged out of his encounter with the US model.
50 R. A. Martel, ‘Les réformes proposées par M. Mitterrand tendent d’abord à l’application plus complète du Statut de l’Algérie’, Le Monde, 9 January 1955, pp. 1 and 8.
51 See, e.g., Frank W. Blackmar, ‘Spanish colonial policy’, in Publications of the American Economic Association, 3rd Series, 1, 3, August 1900, pp. 112–43; Macaraig, Serafin Egmidio and Bewley, Luther B., The social integration of the Philippines, Manila: Philippines Information Pamphlets, 1924Google Scholar.
52 Clotaire Bée, ‘La doctrine d’intégration’, Recueil Penant, 2, 1946, pp. 27–48. On Mexican discussions contrasting integration with assimilation (and incorporation), see Palacios, ‘Postrevolutionary intellectuals’, p. 318, n. 28.
53 ‘Les algériens doivent pouvoir identifier leur espérance...’, Le Monde, 9 December 1954; François Mitterrand, ‘Une petite minorité révoltée ne nous fera pas renoncer aux réformes’, Paris-Presse, 12 November 1954. Note that Algeria had been legally defined as fully part of France since at least 1848; according to the French Constitution of 1946, all Algerians had French citizenship.
54 Marc Benoit, ‘Tribune Libre: nationalisme ou contre-colonisation’, Combat, 16 November 1954; ‘Les algériens doivent pouvoir identifier leur espérance’. On ‘citizenship’ for Algerians, see Shepard, Todd, The invention of decolonization: the Algerian revolution and the remaking of France, 2nd rev. edn, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008, pp. 39–42Google Scholar. Laws in 1944, 1946, and 1947 asserted that all Algerians were ‘French citizens’ yet did not extend equal political rights to those who lived in Algeria.
55 ‘L’Algérie c’est la France? Oui, mais avec tous les droits qui s’attachent à la démocratie’, Le Populaire, 7 January 1955.
56 M. Berthet, ‘Ce que veulent les Algériens non musulmans’, France-Observateur, 30 December 1954.
57 Mme. Duchet, ‘Ce que veulent les Algériens non musulmans (suite)’, France-Observateur, 20 January 1955.
58 Daniel V. Kaeser, ‘La lettre du jour: la responsabilité des Européens en Algérie’, La Gazette, 11 November 1954.
59 ‘Jean Capdeville: le problème algérien est avant tout social’, Le Populaire, 15 December 1954.
60 Centre des Archives Contemporaines, Fontainebleau, France (henceforth CAC), 19770391/3, Mission d’études RE, ‘La participation des Français musulmans à la fonction publique’, 6 July 1959, p. 4.
61 For quotes, see Ulmann, Bernard, Jacques Soustelle: le mal aimé, Paris: Plon, 1995, p. 188Google Scholar; Soustelle, Mexique.
62 Soustelle, Jacques, Aimée et souffrante Algérie, Paris: Plon, 1956, p. 36Google Scholar; ‘Entretien: Jacques Soustelle’, Le Monde, 15 January 1956, p. 1.
63 For an overview of how assimilation had been invoked and (less often) pursued in Algeria since the French conquest, see Shepard, Invention of decolonization, ch. 1; Soustelle, Aimée et souffrante Algérie, pp. 92–4. For a more elaborate example of how Soustelle presented his arguments against a ‘nationalist’ depiction of Algeria as based in ‘science’, see Jacques Soustelle, ‘Lettre d’un intellectuel à quelques autres à propos de l’Algérie’, Combat, 26 November 1955; Shepard, Invention of decolonization, pp. 48–53.
64 See, for example, the speech that Christian Pineau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, gave at the United Nations’ Political Commission on 1 February 1957, where he compared France and Algeria to ‘India, but also the Soviet Union and South Africa … Cyprus, Malaysia, Singapore, and Rhodesia … Canada … Lebanon … Indonesia … The problem we all face is that of coexistence.’
65 Noiriel, Gérard, Immigration, antisémitisme et racisme en France (XIXe–XXe siècle), Paris: Fayard, 2007, pp. 438, 552–3Google Scholar. See also L. Bogart, ‘Les Algériens en France: adaptation réussie et non réussie’, in A. Girard, ed., Français et immigrés, II: nouveaux documents sur l’adaptation: Algériens, Italiens, Polonais: le service social d’aide aux immigrants, Cahiers de l’INED, n. 20, Paris, INED, 1954. François Borella, ‘Le mot race dans les constitutions françaises et étrangères’, Mots, 33, 1, 1992, p. 309. On the ‘republican’ aversion to using terms such as ‘racial’, ‘race’, or ‘racism’, even to counter racism, see Herrick Chapman and Laura L. Frader, ‘Race in France’, in Chapman, Herrick and Frader, Laura L., eds., Race in France: interdisciplinary perspectives on the politics of difference, New York: Berghahn, 2004, pp. 1–19Google Scholar.
66 Soustelle and Tillion were protégés of Paul Rivet, students of Marcel Mauss, and trained at the Institut d’Ethnologie and the Musée de l’Homme. Soustelle did his fieldwork in Mexico, Tillion among the Chaouia peoples of Algeria. Vincent-Mansûr Monteil, an Arabist and expert on Islam, was trained by Louis Massignon. Jean Servier received his doctorate in ethnology in 1955 for his work on Algerian Berbers, under the direction of the prominent Durkheimian ethnologist Marcel Griaule. Note that the distinctions between ‘anthropologists’, ‘ethnographers’, and ‘ethnologists’ owe much to national traditions and, often, to how they distinguish between ‘physical’ and ‘cultural’ approaches. In France, ‘anthropology’ had been bound up with ‘physical’ certainties. The work of Claude Lévi-Strauss, notably his Structural anthropology (1958), which included an essay he had written for UNESCO (‘Place de l’anthropologie dans les sciences sociales et problèmes posés par son enseignement’ (1954)), was altering this equation in the very years that this article focuses on.
67 Métraux, Itinéraires; see also Gérard Gaillard, Cadres institutionnels et activités de l’ethnologie française entre 1950 et 1970, http://www.univ-lille1.fr/bustl-grisemine/pdf/rapports/G2003-27.pdf (consulted 23 December 2010), which presents further extensive evidence of this ‘brassage’.
68 Nelly Forget, who worked with Tillion at the centres sociaux and after, recalls that Tillion rejected Jacques Soustelle’s suggestion that she use the Mexican model, with the argument that the histories and ethnographies of the two countries were too different. Yet, as Forget notes and the archives confirm, Tillion and her collaborators turned to UNESCO pamphlets on basic education for models and inspiration. As described above, these publications drew heavily and directly on the very Mexican examples that Soustelle championed. On Tillion, see Le Sueur, James D., Uncivil war: intellectuals and identity politics during the decolonization of Algeria, Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2001, pp. 62–97Google Scholar; and Nelly Forget, ‘Le service des centres sociaux en Algérie’, Matériaux pour l’Histoire de Notre Temps, 26, 1, 1992, pp. 37–47. Information about Forget’s views on Soustelle, Tillion, and Mexico comes from a personal communication with the author, 26 May 2009.
69 On the SAS and Mexican reforms, see Mathias, Gregor, Les sections administratives spécialisées en Algérie: entre idéal et réalité (1955–1962), Paris: L’Harmattan, 1998, p. 24Google Scholar; and Stephen Tyre, ‘From Algérie française to France musulmane: Jacques Soustelle and the myths and realities of “integration”, 1955–1962’, French History, 20, 3, 2006, pp. 281–4.
70 Lewis, Ambivalent revolution, p. 57.
71 Georgette Soustelle, ‘Tequila: un village nahuatl du Mexique oriental’, PhD thesis (thèse principale), Université de Paris/Institut de l’Ethnologie, 1958, p. 125. On the post-1930 break with Spanish-only approaches to Mexican ‘indigenous’ education, see Hartch, Missionaries, pp. 56–7. Lloyd Hughes, in the UNESCO pamphlet on Mexico’s cultural missions, also emphasized the importance of bilingualism. Neither notes that here, as in the new attention to class and other shifts, the novelty directly reproduced Soviet innovations; see Cadiot, Le laboratoire impérial.
72 Soustelle, Jacques, The four suns: recollections and reflections of an ethnologist in Mexico, trans. E. Ross, London: Deutsch, 1971, p. 155Google Scholar. See also ‘Quand de Gaulle envoie ses voeux à Soustelle’, Rivarol, 891, February 1968, p. 3.
73 Soustelle, Aimée et souffrante Algérie, p. 156.
74 One of the rich ironies of this story is that, starting in 1963 (the year after Algeria won independence), Mexican anthropologists, beginning with Pablo González Casanova and Rodolfo Stavenhagen, used anti-colonial critiques (e.g. Frantz Fanon and Georges Balandier) to analyse and critique indigenismo; such analyses took on new importance after the events of 1968. They inform in compelling ways the growing historiography in the US and elsewhere about indigenismo. For an overview of these developments, see Guillermo de la Peña, ‘Social and cultural policies toward indigenous peoples: perspectives from Latin America’, Annual Review of Anthropology, 34, October 2005, pp. 717–39.
76 See, for example, Bleich, Erik, Race politics in Britain and France: ideas and policymaking since the 1960s, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Favell, Adrian, Philosophies of integration: immigration and the idea of citizenship in France and Britain, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Fysh, Peter and Wolfreys, Jim, The politics of racism in France, London: Macmillan, 1998Google Scholar; Lieberman, Robert C., Shaping race policy: the United States in comparative perspective, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005Google Scholar. See also Anne-Marie Le Pourhiet, ‘Pour une analyse critique de la discrimination positive, Débat, 114, March–April 2001; Landfried, Julien, Contre le communautarisme, Paris: Armand Colin, 2007Google Scholar.