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Diversity in the institutions

Our books

European States and their Muslim Citizens

John R. BOWEN, Christophe BERTOSSI, Jan Willem DUYVENDAK and Mona Lena KROOK (dir.)

Cambridge University Press


The Colors of the Flag. The French Army in front of Discriminations


Robert Laffont Editions, in the Collection 'Le monde comme il va' directed by Michel Wieviorka, Paris 2007. This publication is the result of a research directed by Ifri.



Diversity within institutions: international comparisons

This programme focuses on the socio-cultural and religious diversity within institutions in occidental countries (Western Europe, USA) and plural societies (Lebanon, Indonesia, etc…) from a comparative approach. The institutions we focus on include, inter alia: the military institutions and hospitals. This program is based on the results of several qualitative inquiries led by researchers from the Center since 2005.


French military personnel “with an immigrant background”. This study is based on a fieldwork led by Christophe Bertossi and Catherine Wihtol de Wenden with soldiers from the army’s four services. The 62 semi-directive interviews conducted between March and July 2004 focused on the factors behind enlistment, expectations, the question of diversity and allegiance, identities and values. All interviews have been recorded and integrally transcribed to be analysed. Four salient are addressed more in depth: Islam, citizenship, discriminations and the place of women. This study reveals both the feeling of belonging of these soldiers to the French army and the racism and discrimination they have to face during their entire career in the institution.


Cultural and religious diversity in the French police force. This study is based on a fieldwork led by Christophe Bertossi and Dorothée Prud’homme between November 2007 and September 2008. 74 interviews were carried out with students and staff affected to different types of units in the Ile-de-France and Rhône-Alpes regions. The interviews, which lasted from 1 to 4 hours were all recorded and transcribed to be analysed. Once again, the analysis revealed the racial discrimination endured by some staff members considered as coming from a “minority” within the police force. It also showed the importance that cultural and religious diversity can have for an institution that is in contact with a diversified public.


Ethnic, cultural and religious diversity in hospitals. This study is based on a fieldwork led by Christophe Bertossi and Dorothée Prud’homme in four public and private establishments in the Ile-de-France region between March 2009 and December 2010. In total, 116 interviews (integrally recorded and transcribed) have been carried out with hospital workers (medical, paramedical and administrative) and patients.  The analysis of the data gathered shows how the diversity of staff members can facilitate care for minority groups, how the  perceptions and social representations of this diversity are part of an internal institutional logic that is specific to hospitals (perceptions of diversity are far away from the clichés conveyed by public debate on these subjects), and finally how racism and racial discrimination are expressed within hospitals.


Videos to go further:

Islam et hôpital : la réalité du quotidien - Christophe BERTOSSI - 29 Juin 2011

Racisme et discrimination à l'hôpital - Dorothée PRUD'HOMME - 22 Septembre 2011


Christophe BERTOSSI Senior Research Fellow, Director of the Center for Migrations and Citizenship

Emma BROUGHTON Research Fellow

Jan Willem DUYVENDAK Associate Research Fellow

Imad BOU AKL Associate Research Fellow

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