Wednesday, March 16, 2016

EUC Lecture Series on Race, Globalization and Education “Transcultural teens: performing youth identities in French cités”

By Paula Jaime Agramon

On March 14, 2016, the EUC Lecture Series on Race, Globalization and Education hosted the lecture “Transcultural teens: performing youth identities in French cités” by Chantal Tetreault. Chantal Tetreault is the Assistant Professor Department of Anthropology at Michigan State University.  She can be reached at  

During her lecture, Chantal Tetreault discussed her research on teenagers and identity in France.  Chantal’s research was performed in France in suburbs around cities that are considered spaces of migration, social exclusion and racialized marginalization. These spaces are denominated ‘les cités’ and they are becoming a place for an emergent youth subculture.
Chantal Tetreault, MSU Department of Anthropology

In her research, Chantal wanted to study how youth subculture in les cités are developing transcultural communicative genres that involve their French culture knowledge as French born citizens and the culture of their families, who in most cases come from Algeria.

Teens create a peer-based culture in which they elaborate and create new communicative traits. For example, they use certain Arab-origin words used by their parents in different and innovative ways that allow them to ‘get away’ with name-calling and jokes.

She found that teens are developing a youth subculture that not only extends in between ‘les cités.’ It is a subculture that is spreading across the general middle-class youth population.

Paula Jaime Agramon is a MAEUS student and graduate assistant at the European Union Center.

For more past lectures from the EUC, please visit our website's archives.


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