From urban violence to everyday tensions in public space

Sous-titre : The post-colonial context in France
Author : Claske Dijkema
Type : Article Irénées

In this article I propose to consider violence as a kind of language and to inquire into perpetrators’ needs behind the acts of violence: the need for recognition, and the need to find a place in society.

The expression ‘urban violence’ evokes in France the violent confrontations between youths and security forces in specific neighbourhoods of the city. The latter are located on the margins of the city; have a high level of unemployment, especially in the 18-26 age range; have a higher number of single parent families and lower earnings than other parts of the city, as well as a higher percentage of residents linked to post-colonial immigration1. But what is specifically ‘urban’ about urban violence? This term obscures the social dimensions of this type of violence: who is perpetrating it and what are their conditions and motivations?

Date : 2016