Talk:French people/Archive 1

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Point of this article?

This article has a major problem. << Following Smith's definition of ethnicity, members of the French ethnic group are united by common ties of language, culture and a sense of common ancestry. >> If the the "French ethnic group" is defined by culture, then it's not an "ethnic group". Make an article on "French culture" or "French society". I propose that either several peer-reviewed scientific articles be cited as source for such definition or the article is deleted. As far as I know, there is no article on "American people".

French and Francophone is not the same...

French (français) and french speaker (Francopho) are note the same reality. For example in Canada, about 6 to 8 millions of persons speak french, but very few of them are french. Morover, a french (a person whom have french natinolity) don't speak necessarly french.

Umm, I'm not sure thats an accurate statement. I'm a Canadian and have lived in Quebec and I can tell you of the Francophones in Canada, there are large numbers who are ethnic French and in fact they are the main ethnic element of the whole nation (23 %) here other than those of British Isles origin. (see List of Canadians by ethnicity) for more information. Epf 22:03, 11 January 2006 (UTC)


Greetings, I see a lot of debate regarding this french history here, I was doing an research regarding the celtics which was very much accurate information and very free flowing in my research and now when i come back for further is gone.. that makes me pretty sad.. and from what i see here.. when to much people talk about one subject(s) and stretch on just one or two word's for correction, it all get messed up and most time the TRUTH is always taken down.. i have been reseaching for years now and using wikipedia which gives some very profound information, that you will not get anywhere online nor in the study stores...

I really hope you all don't delete this article as it is worthly to people around the world and not just to a few that might be called french people....history should be accepted at all point and angles...

sparklelight209.94.219.15 01:07, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

PS: for information sake in referal to this research about fairies the celts are also family of the fairies and infact celts is the earlier version given the name later down as fairies...

You have been researching for years about the Celts, and the best you have found so far is a Wikipedia article about the French ? I must have misunderstood. Rama 08:06, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Rama researching is not about best it is about connecti/ng/on. and no am not researching about the celts as it is just part of reseaching dearheart...that is what pedia(s) are for, it takes you from one point to another that leads to another which eventually summonds an definate conclusing for it's reseacher.

This i was looking into before it was taken down: "The French (French: les Français), Frenchmen or French people, are an ethnic group of mixed pre-Celtic, Celtic, Germanic and Italic origins which make up the majority of the inhabitants of France in Western Europe;

That is TRUE...we are often looking at outter layers of self.. to understand life we must look from within and within comes from our past which evolves' and evolving, and has nothing to do with names, however names come about through traveling and time..then we claim...ex:lands> it is then thing(s) appear to change.. but we are who and what we are...and will always be....we do create the illusion of changes... and may i add that myth is the key to these aspect of reseaching....without it; it is denying the search for what/why/when or the ~perhaps~ brought us here? so on and so forth ...

Thanks sparklelight209.94.214.134 13:26, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

I have never seen the French refered to as an "ethnic group". I might consider that this is FALSE (to adopt your elegant capitalisation). Your whole discourse seems to date back from the 19th century; I have very little interest at what you see when you "look from within", I want scientific quotations. Rama 15:46, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Here's a scientific POV. At year 1800, the population who lived in the area of today's France had blood from many origins. For what is know : Ligurian, Iberic, Greek, Gallic, Basque, Aquitanian, Roman, Egyptian, Breton, Germanic, Frank, Burgundian, Wisigoth, Hun, Sarracen, Hungarian, Viking, English, Syrian, Gypsy, Jewish (from Italy, Palestine, Spain and Portugal), Catalan, Swiss, German, Austrian, Dutch, Flemish, Italian, Castillan, African, Créole, Corsican, etc. Felipeh | babla 22:05, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for giving me the moment to just have a glimpes to contiune working further on the celts from this perspective.. it means much and valid. Rama there are many things each individual 'never see' until they venture into the "unknown" then it becomes known.. everyone goes through the "never seen" hence the reason for researching....then we know we have "seen" and then we understand we have a lot more to see..and for agument sake, is there any scientific proof that God exist?! If so i would love to do some research on that please. Have a blessed day* sparklelight209.94.216.90 11:26, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Cross roads of civilisations

I erased the whole introduction to the page on the wonderful french melting pot and wonderful french constitution and how France is a "cross roads of civilisations". This is irrelevent. This page is on the French ethnic group. All western european states have immigration, this is not put into question. But I live in France and here the french are the french and the arabs are the arabs. Just ask any Algerian in Paris who can't get a job because of his looks or because of his name.--Burgas00 16:24, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

"La France a toujours été multiple, les Français n'ont jamais formé de peuple homogène contrairement à d'autres peuples." Ericd, where do you get this statement from? What people in Europe are homogenous? Look at the Russians or the Spanish. All nations are the results of succesive waves of migrations, not just the French.

Are You supposed to quote myself ? While I agree I never wrote this. Ericd 11:22, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Burgas00, you know, of course, that Algerians are not Arab ?
If this article is, as you say, about the "French ethnic group", then why is it not named so, first ? But I advise you that the proper content for such an article would be "No such thing. The world is more complicated than you think. Go read History of France". Rama 08:18, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Besides, "I live in France and here the french are the french and the arabs are the arabs" is totally information-free. look at this: "I do not live in the USA, and there the USAyans are USAyans and the arabs are the arabs".
  • First, I wonder what you mean with "The Arabs are the Arabs" (of course of national of Saudi Arabia retains his nationality when he comes over to France).
  • Second, that you can distinguish one group from another (all moral and political considerations set aside) is not a scientific fact about ethnics. I could say that I see Blacks in the USA are different from the White, so the Blacks are Blacks and the White are "ethnic USAyans"; problem, these "ethnic USAyans" come from England, France, Italy, Ireland... and the Blacks also come from very different places in Africa.
I am sorry, but all I see here is people who are mislead by their impressions and want to put their subjective view of the world in an article. I am certain that they are merely misguided, but they need to understand what a scientific method is. This is NOT the case. This is about as intelligent as going over to Series (mathematics) and claim that series never converge because when I add things on the top of other, I see that it becomes always bigger and bigger. Rama 08:27, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually, writing this, I wonder whether we are not based on a definition of "ethny" which goes along these lines: "Ethny: group of people by which people in the USA define their ancestors and where they came from". I am sorry people, but that's not it. Erase it all and come back to the basics. Rama 08:31, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

POV Questions: Military History

The portion of this article entitled "Military History" is written in an inappropriate fashion which is also unacademic. The commentary on the wars "lost" and "won" is xenophobic. For example, on WWI the author wrote: "Sadly, widespread use of condoms by American forces forestalls any improvement in the French bloodline". Furthermore, I do not think any serious student will reduce the outcome of most wars to one word, be it won, lost or tied. There are also factual errors. The invaison of Gaul was by the Romans and not by the Italians. Not only is the author biased, he is ignorant and does not appreciate how ethnicities change with time and are not absolutes (The concept of a Frenchman is as old as the Revolution just as that of an Italian is as old as the Risorgimento and that only among the elite). While a section on Military History is appropriate, I feel this entire section should be removed and rewritten from scratch.

To all those reading this article for information, I recommend disregarding that section in its entirety until the problem has been fixed.

Daniel (Montreal) Oct. 26, 2005 -- 22:25 EST

I vote for this one as non-featured article... Ericd 23:39, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I added more informations about French people (I'm French) :)

You're a liar.

Why does this article need attention?

I'm well aware of it, and even working with some other guy to help make the article better. However, it would be better if we knew just why this article needs attention. MessedRocker 03:50, Jun 18, 2005 (UTC)

Answer my question on my talk page MessedRocker 03:50, Jun 18, 2005 (UTC)
Oy, I see. MessedRocker 04:30, Jun 18, 2005 (UTC)
Who is an ethnic French ? Ericd 19:00, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
This article is totally absurd - there is no such thing as a ethnic French. Maybe you meant Gallic or Frank ??
An Ethnic French is someone living in France and being of Europid descent (most likely Celtic, Romance or Germanic) and French cultural background. What we call here a "Français de souche". I bet you are not living in France if you say/ask such a thing. That's a pretty good article by the way - who did it ?
This article is much better than when I wrote the previous remarks. I am living in France and when I wrote my comment the article was fuzzy about nationality/ethnicity. It seems much better now but I haven't read it carefully yet. Ericd 17:12, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

After careful reading it's still junk.... French people are people with French nationality.... Ericd 21:42, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

BTW I'm French and living in France. C'est quoi un Français de souche ? Moi je suis à 25% Français depuis au moins le XV° et immigré de la 3° génération à 50 % les 25 % restants sont Français mais depuis combien de temps ?. Comment on trouve 54 millions de Français en France et 16 millions aux USA ? On ne définit rien on mélange nationalité et ethnicité, on ne dit pas que la France a intégré plusieurs vagues d'immigration successives et que ca s'est mélangé gravement.... Et Sarkozy il est quoi Français de souche ou Polonais de souche ? Ericd 09:17, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Entre 20 et 25 millions de Français sont issus de l'immigration, une immigration qui a débuté assez tôt en France par rapport aux autres pays d'Occident (dès la fin du 19e siècle avec une accélération depuis les années 1950 : Portuguais, Espagnols, Italiens, Grecs, Belges, Hollandais, Allemands, Suisses, Polonais, Marocains, Algériens, Tunisiens, Turcs, Juifs séfarades, Juifs ashkénazes, Sénégalais, Maliens, Camerounais, Chinois, etc...). En tout cas, il n'y a pas d'ethnie française, elle n'a jamais existé d'ailleurs, dès l'époque celtique il y avait plusieurs ethnies sur le territoire. Voilà mon avis pour les francophones. La France a toujours été multiple, les Français n'ont jamais formé de peuple homogène contrairement à d'autres peuples.

Le chiffre 16 million est tout a fait inexact, parce qu'il represente la population americaine d'origine francaise (voir problemes ci-dessus et dessous concernant "l'origine") et non la population francaise aux etats-unis, c'est-a-dire l'immigration francaise, qui lui est bien inferieure!


Les Français sont catholiques ? La belle affaire on a oublié les guerres de religions et la révocation de l'édit de Nantes... J'ai la flemme de répondre en Anglais a ceux qui ont contribué à cet article... Une belle image de la France vraiment. Ericd 14:58, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Ca me gave tellement que j'ai envie d'écrire que Sarkozy il doit être Molonais de Mouche... Ericd 15:02, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Mouchonais de Moule ca sonne bien non ? Ericd 15:03, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

The article is already extremely explicit about what it deals with. Someone is an ethnic Frenchman if he/she fulfills two simple criteria:
  1. self-identifyning as ethnically French
  2. being identified by others as ethnically French
Citizenship or residence is not what all these ethnicity articles are about. Compare Garifuna, Turks, Frisians, Mongols &cetera.... See also Talk:Turkish people, language shift, melting pot and ethnic origin for further insights. //Big Adamsky 22:13, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

French In Australia

According to "Australian population: ethnic origins" in June 1999 the number was closer to 86330. 2 million is very far off.

I agree; 2 million for Australia is implausible, and furthermore there's no source listed. I'm removing it. Mjs 11:44, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Someone estimated 2 million Australians had some degree of French ancestry. After all the English-speaking peoples worldwide had frequent contact with France for thousands of years. Same goes for any European country to share borders with France (Belgium, Italy, Spain and Germany). It appears sarcastic than realistic, so that edit was removed. + Mike D 26 03:05, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

There are 5 to 6 millions Muslim in France

This article is still biased. For me French People are people with French nationality.... That's a POV that I share with the French Republic no less. I think that according to the NPOV rule it has to be expressed in the article and not censored. What is an ethnic French ? As of today there's no official definition in France. What's the source for the numbers ? As of today there's also no census for religions in France ? There is even less official census crossing datas on religion and ethnic groups. Of course there may be some studies leading to various estimations. Can someone quote a scientific article that 1 - define what is a "Français de souche" 2 - has a methodology to serious estimate of their number ? As of today this article has no source, and his crypto-racist, understating that there's some kind of real French people (Français de souche/Ethnic French) what else a "pure French race" ?. I'm sorry but the large majority of the Arabs living in France are French. It's sad to read that the Arabs living in France are not French people. What if I wrote that Afro-American are not American people ? Ericd 22:56, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

I've noticed there is no "american people" (or australian people, or canadian people or any other nation created which is not home to a majority ethnic group) article, so thus from what ive determined (in regards to the 'people' articles) they are in regard to ethnicity rather than citizenship. By 'French People' it is in regard to the Celtic-Germanic native inhabitants. This is just my view (as I changed that) and it is up for discussion. Cheers, - >>michaelg | talk 06:47, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Thus this article is supposed to be about the "French ethnic group" not "French people"... Defining French people by ethnicity fails NPOV.Ericd 09:31, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

This article is on the ethnic French and it states that, just as the other "people pages" are on indigenous ethnic groups. The neutrality of other ethnic group pages isn't disputed so neither should this one. Epf 05:58, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Eric, the series of articles on ethnic groups does not fail the policy of neutrality. In the English language a "people" usually does not mean a group of individuals sharing the same citizenship and nothing else (even though some do). See my posting further up. //Big Adamsky 22:20, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree with adamsky. The problem with Eric is that ethnicity, even as a concept, is taboo in France, this is why he is getting flustered.--Burgas00 22:58, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

It's not taboo in France, it's just taboo for this guy. Ericd is not representing France (in spite of what he claims). There is some studies about the number of muslims and about the opinions of french muslims, like this one. --Elias2 16:53, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi, I happen to be French too and I can testify that ethnicity is a complete taboo in France. Breaking it even innocently but publicly can lead to ostracism and, well, sometimes courtroom. This political correctness cannot even be equaled by the American one. You're on Wikipedia English, so you write about "Ethnic French" like you do usually in the Anglosphere and you don't listen to French thought police. BTW, the 40% "mixed French" is a political figure that has never been backed by any study. But "Tabula Rasa" and now crossbreeding (métissage) are the official motto of the state. Ericd is pretty typical of this mandatory philosophy.

If you want the number of Muslims in France (both nationals and foreigners), the lastest study brings about the number of 3.7 millions. It's done by one of our most prominent demographer, Michèle Tribalat. It doesn't count illegals though.

But again, it's Wikipedia English, so you let the French Peecee and all French "advisers", including myself, on Wikipedia France.

[Fred - 12/01/2006]

Mandatory philosophy... Am I brainwashed by official French doctrine ? I think I made a better use of my brain than those who claims the existence of a French ethnic group without any definition or source. I don't like the process of disqualifying me because of who I am instead discussing about what I think. Ericd 11:35, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Alexandre Dumas

By the way its fun to see Alexandre Dumas photo to illustrate the "Français de souche" what do you think of adding the photo Zinedine Zidane ? Ericd 23:05, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm sorry I didn't quite understand that, could you elaborate at all? Cheers, - Flag of Australia.svg >>michaelg|talk 12:33, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
I think it's probably because Alexandre Dumas was 1/4 black... The Ogre 14:46, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Plus je passe de temps sur Wikipedia plus je trouve que le rôle du Français me va comme un gant.

The more time I spend on Wikipedia the more I think that the Frenchman character suit me like a glove.

This is a direct translation of a French idomatic expression. BTW you know about the man who had five penisses ?

Ericd 23:47, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Je dirais plutôt que tu as choisi le rôle du bouffon de service. --Elias2 17:07, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Oui, le bouffon de service. Au moins à la différence d'autres quand j'écris des conneries je sais que c'est des conneries. Cette discussion est tellement chiante sur le fonds qu'il vaut mieux s'amuser un peu. Ericd 01:37, 21 January 2006 (UTC)


I'm still new to Wikipedia but what is the policy regarding ethnicity articles on 'mixed' ethnicities? Would the Métis of Canada and the United States be considered 'French'? Semi-Lobster

The Métis of Canada and the United States are either Canadian or American. Not French. Even if their ancestors once were. The Ogre 13:46, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

But the Métis speak French and the Métis of Canada do not generally consider themselves 'Canadian' Semi-Lobster

What is a French now

Hello, I'm French. There are some things to know about french people. Excuse my english.
The first sentence of this article is : "The French (French: les Français), Frenchmen or French people, are an ethnic group of mixed pre-Celtic, Celtic, Germanic and Italic origins which make up the majority of the inhabitants of France in Western Europe." This is false. You should put "was" instead of "are". Now, there are many many French who are from North-African, African or Indochinese (and others) origins. And there are inhabitants of islands overseas (Réunion, Guadeloupe, Martinique, etc.) who are French too.
Ethnicity: until XIXth century, there was about half of population of France who did't speak french (or similars dialects) so by definition wasn't french. Even the French Canadians are not easy to understand for any French from France (and I don't even speak about Cajuns). So could we say that peoples from former french colonies are french people ? I don't think so. And one more point: other languages than french in France like Provencal, Breton or Basque are speaking by very very very few people (only by old people). You should mention that.
Good bye fellows. 18:21, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
For your information Cajuns and French Canadians are "ethnic" French. Despite variations and the gradual change of the French language overtime it doesn't take away from their natural origin. Indeed many immigrants who received French citizenship are French nationally but ethinically they are not. The article primarily refers to the indigenous ethnic French people.

JJstroker 09:46, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

You answered your own question in that quote an ethnic group of mixed pre-Celtic, Celtic, Germanic and Italic origins which make up the majority of the inhabitants of France , it clearly states the MAJORITY as in most French are descended from those ancient tribes, the north africans and other groups you speak of are a MINORITY and have their own ethnic groups Angryafghan 20:37, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm French too and it's not a certificate of knowledge on this issue. Yes, half of French people didn't speak French in the XVIIIth century, but most were speaking dialects close to French, save for Basque, Alsatian, Flemish and Breton. And anyway if you use this logic, 0% of French were French because the French language wasn't the same then. Moreover, that people who were not originally taking part in the French people are dwelling in France today does not change the fact that the people who are descending mostly from the "indigenes" still inhabit the country.

This is typically parisian/jacobin POV. Occitan was spoke in half France and it is as far from french than spanish or italian. There were two big areas: oïl languages and oc languages. Originally, french are people who are living in parisian and nearby areas. Occitan, basque, etc. became french only because the republican school prohibited native language of the children. 10:24, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

All this doesn't mean that people who are "non-White" and "non-Catholic" aren't French. But if really political correctness is mandatory, you can add a section about the "evolution" of the French people.

And I'm sorry but I've heard the Canadian TV and apparently Quebecers speak a very good French.

I see TV5, and if canadian sets aren't subtitled, I didn't understand it, but maybe I'm stupid. Lot of Africans speak french too and there are not always french. 10:24, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

The problem is that you can't satisfy everybody. The Quebecers, the Swiss, the Belgians, the supporters of regionalisms, the far-right nationalists, the supporters of unrestricted immigration, the supporters of the national mythology, the Muslims, the West Africans, ... All have good and valid reasons to advance their opinions. The best is to change the title from "French people" to "Indigenous people of France" -(that is the people who originally unhabited the territory of contemporary metropolitan France).

It's very simple: french is nationality, not ethnic. 10:24, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Eloge du savoir 08:03, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm not French, but I do have a nearly 20 year old French dictionary. It says francais, aise adj. et n. 1. Adj. Qui appartient, est relatif a la France et ses habitants. La Republique francaise. N. Personne de nationalite francaise. Un francais, une francaise. 2. N.m. LE FRANCAIS : la langue francaise ... (1988 Micro Robert). That seems pretty definitely non-ethnic. Angus McLellan 19:06, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Les Suisses are not les Français

There are people speaking the French language in Switzerland (like me). But we do not identify ourself as French (we are Vaudois, Genevois, Valaisan..., then Swiss, then European), we do not claim a strong cultural continuity with the French, we were never French (except maybe when Napoleon conquered Europe) and will never be French. In fact, with have a very long political history that as nothing to do with France (part of Switzerland has been in Savoy and Burgundy (about 1000 years ago), but not France (okay, except Canton of Jura, from 1793 to 1815). Switzerland has a border with France and is partially French-speaking, that's all you can say. French is spoken in my part of Switzerland because it was a very important language. Previously, Franco-Provençal was spoken here (and still is in a few remote places of Valais). Marc Mongenet 23:25, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Oh, and this Google-ads ridden 'source' [1] is not worth the pixels it is displayed on. Marc Mongenet 22:57, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

If you really want to place French-speaking Swiss in an ethnic group, classify them as Romand (from Romandie). Marc Mongenet 23:18, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Strongly agree with Marc, except that saying that Romand is an ethnic group looks like stretching the meaning of the term. Oh, and Canton of Geneva was also French for a few years (1793–1813), but this has no influence whatsoever on the origin of the people. Schutz 12:22, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Note to it is so obvious (for anyone knowing something about Switzerland and France) that French-speaking Swiss do not consider themselves French, that there is not source stating it explicitely. What kind of source do you need? Do want to know if the words les Français in a Swiss publication always refers to France, not the French-speaking Swiss part. Yes, always. Do you want to know how the French-speaking Swiss call themselves? Romand (see Romandy, Télévision Suisse Romande). Marc Mongenet 22:51, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Well you need to provide some references on the history of the French-speaking Swiss in Switzerland and what exactly is their ethnic origins. Since their culture is primarily descended from the Lombards (adopted Gallo-Roman culture) who also went on to invade Burgundy and France, a kinship with the the peoples of France is clear. Also, large numbers of the French-speaking Swiss are descendants of French huguenots (most of whom were indigenous French). For info on the differing histories of the ethnic groups in Switzerland: [2] 13:28, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I am not sure if I follow the argument correctly; let me rephrase it with my own words. You are saying that French-Speaking Swiss descends from the Lombards, and the Lombards also went on to invade Burgundy and France. So we have two separate branches, one who went to France and became "les Français", and one who went to Switzerland and became "les Suisses-Romands". Did I get this right ? Schutz 14:10, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
As for the Huguenots, this looks like a good point; however, I just did a quick check (nothing encyclopedic for now, just a Google search), and only about 8000 of them came to Switzerland, compared to a population of around 900,000 at the time, so their influence on the "ethnicity" of Switzerland is rather limited (especially compared to other 20th century migrations). Schutz 14:10, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
The Lombards have never invaded France (just some short raids), they went in Northern Italy in VIIth century and came from danubian countries (Hungary, Croatia...). There were two kingdoms who landed both on eastern France and Switzerland : Burgundians (germanic tribe) in Vth-VIth century and Savoy (wich extended on actual Piedmont too) in XIIIth century. Charles I, Duke of Burgundy tried to invade Switzerland in 1470's but he failed. Felipeh 14:20, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
You can read the history of Switzerland (French-speaking part included) and the history of Vaud, Geneva, Valais, Canton of Neuchâtel, Canton of Fribourg and Canton of Jura in their respective articles. And read also Savoy and Burgundy. Marc Mongenet 16:08, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure I know exactly what you are trying to argue here either. The fact remains there isn't a single unified "Swiss ethnic group". The French-speaking Swiss are distinct from the German-speaking Swiss as well as the Italians of southern Switzerland. If the French-speaking Swiss constitue a distinct, yet related, ethnic group from the peoples of France is a matter of debate. From the history I have read in the links I and other people have provided above, it seems very clear the French-speaking Swiss are quite related to the peoples of France in terms of language, culture and history.[3] 19:52, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
In terms of language you are right. In terms of history, very wrong. French history is more related to English or even German history than to Swiss history. For culture, it is half true. Of course, Swiss Romand do read French litterature, watch French TV... But the political mentality, the cantonal identity, is typically Swiss, with roots going back to more than 5 centuries, when the Swiss cantons had no border with the French kingdom (and nobody spoke French, except the elites). Marc Mongenet 21:40, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and yes I meant to say Burgundians, not Lombards (the link I posted also says Burgundians, not Lombards). It was a long day of editing. 19:59, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Also, even before the arrival of the Burdgundians, the peoples of Switzerland were of the Gallo-Roman culture. When the Burdgundians invaded Switzerland and France, they settled in the west and assimilated into the Gallo-Roman culture. When the Alemanni invaded around the same period, they settled in the north-east and central areas, but heavily retained their Germanic culture and identity. The German-speaking Swiss still retain close ties with the southwestern Alemannic Germans to this very day. With that said, the Gallo-Roman culture of the French-speaking/"Burgundian" Swiss also remains and is related to that of the peoples of France.(Franco-Provençal language, Swiss French). 21:09, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Something very wrong with this article is that some people are lumping French, Swiss and Belgian together, but at the same time many people write the whole article as if only France and its history, its politic, were concerned. Marc Mongenet 11:15, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Indeed there was, but now it doesn't mention Belgian and Swiss Francophones, except to say that they aren't French. Angus McLellan 19:10, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
  • How can you deny that they do not have a shared history. The indigenous peoples of France do share a degree of history with the Germans and English but this can also be said about the Swiss. That link provided by explains how the French-speaking Swiss are indeed of the same ethnic stocks as much of the French. The peoples of Switzerland were originally Gallo-Roman as in France and were also conquered by the Burgundians (as in France) who adopted the Gallo-Roman culture unlike the Allemanni who formed the Swiss-German culture. You say the French-speaking Swiss remained "Swiss", but their is no unified ethnic Swiss and the three different "Swiss" peoples are as much (if not more so) different from each other as they are from their parent culture nations. I would not go as to say the French-speaking Swiss are the same ethnicity or are descended mainly from ethnic French, but they share more with the ethnic French than any other people in terms of language/dialect, culture and origins and at least as much as with the other Swiss peoples. Epf 22:11, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

CIA World Factbook reference has readded the number of "French ethnic" Swiss in the infobox, with a reference given as the CIA World Fact Book. I am a bit puzzled by this reference: the page [4] lists the ethnies by country; indeed, for Switzerland, we have 18% for French, but strangely, under France, we do not have French, but Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities, and under Belgium we have Fleming 58%, Walloon 31%, mixed or other 11%. Should we remove the Belgians from the infobox ? If you want to put the Swiss (and others) in this article, a reference should say more than "18% French" without defining what this is. Schutz 13:23, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

I think that if someone add all french speaking swiss under French people, I propose to add all US inhabitants under english people. (same rule, same effect) 14:01, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
This CIA book is not the Bible. It is proof, once more, of the multiple mistakes in the past twenty years of this intelligence agency, responsible for the creation of the Talibans and al-Qaeda. I knew that they didn't have many agents speaking urdu, but I thought they at least knew France... Lapaz

The reason why there aren't any French official references in this entry: "Ethnic French"

French law forbids categorization of French citizens by so-called "ethnic" ascendency, and this at least since Vichy France. The expression - often used in this entry - of Français de souche ("ethnic French") is forbidden from use in official statistics and is never used in census. In fact, it is almost only used by members of the far-right Front National. Henceforth, it will be impossible to find official French references for this article. This therefore justifies the nomination for Articles for deletion (here talk page to vote. "French" is a nationality, not an "ethnic" membership. French nationality law are based on jus soli, and not on racist jus sanguinis, which as no scientific meaning at all (what is all this Nazi blood mythology???).

. On this talk page, French users agree with this French Republic POV:

  • Yeah, way to reference Hobsbawm, he only supports the death of 20 million people in order for Communism to take over the world. Your far left-wing assimilationist/globalization views are just as bad as far right-wing racist views (which I don't consider any of which to be present in this discussion).
  • Ericd ("French people are people with French nationality"; "C'est quoi un Français de souche ? Moi je suis à 25% Français depuis au moins le XV° et immigré de la 3° génération à 50 % les 25 % restants sont Français mais depuis combien de temps ?"; "For me French People are people with French nationality.... That's a POV that I share with the French Republic no less.")
  • ("Hello, I'm French (...):The first sentence of this article is : "The French (French: les Français), Frenchmen or French people, are an ethnic group of mixed pre-Celtic, Celtic, Germanic and Italic origins which make up the majority of the inhabitants of France in Western Europe." This is false. You should put "was" instead of "are". Now, there are many many French who are from North-African, African or Indochinese (and others) origins. And there are inhabitants of islands overseas (Réunion, Guadeloupe, Martinique, etc.) who are French too.
Ethnicity: until XIXth century, there was about half of population of France who did't speak french (or similars dialects) so by definition wasn't french. Even the French Canadians are not easy to understand for any French from France (and I don't even speak about Cajuns). So could we say that peoples from former french colonies are french people ? I don't think so. And one more point: other languages than french in France like Provencal, Breton or Basque are speaking by very very very few people (only by old people). You should mention that.
Good bye fellows."
  • "It's very simple: french is nationality, not ethnic." 10:24, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Marc Mongenet: "There are people speaking the French language in Switzerland (like me). But we do not identify ourself as French (we are Vaudois, Genevois, Valaisan..., then Swiss, then European), we do not claim a strong cultural continuity with the French, we were never French (except maybe when Napoleon conquered Europe) and will never be French." 23:25, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Nevertheless, the Swiss are considered a natinality, not an ethnic group, and the nation is divided between the French, German and Italian speaking ethnic groups even if some don't identify with the countries in which their cultures originate from. Also, when one looks at Swiss history, especially before the forming of the indedpendent state, the connections between the peoples of the far west of Switzerland and France are quite clear and the people there adopted the gallo-roman culture of France in the 5th century. You also should remember that a large proportion of the persecuted French Huguenots (of which most were ethnic French) settled in the French-speaking area of Switzerland in the 17th century. Epf 20:51, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Schutz: "Strongly agree with Marc, except that saying that Romand is an ethnic group looks like stretching the meaning of the term. Oh, and Canton of Geneva was also French for a few years (1793–1813), but this has no influence whatsoever on the origin of the people."

I'll just quote Big Adamsky 22:13, 11 January 2006 (UTC) to finish

"The article is already extremely explicit about what it deals with. Someone is an ethnic Frenchman if he/she fulfills two simple criteria:
  1. self-identifyning as ethnically French
  2. being identified by others as ethnically French
Citizenship or residence is not what all these ethnicity articles are about. Compare Garifuna, Turks, Frisians, Mongols &cetera.... See also Talk:Turkish people, language shift, melting pot and ethnic origin for further insights."
Errr... OK, imagine that Charles De Gaulle falls on his head one morning and his temporary a little bit out of himself; experts from all over France come on the same day to determin whether he is "ethnically French", and everybody agrees that he is. But De Gaulle then strongly expresses the opinion that he is in fact of Japanese "ethnicity", which makes everybody else wrong all of a sudden. Oh, thanks Goodness, it is only temporary, since the next day De Gaulle will be better again and agree with the "experts", Hopefull.
Come on. Rama 17:45, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for this very simple definition. However, apart of quoting Wiki entries (which goes against Wikipolicies), how can you give this such "explicit" definition when 90% of Frenchpeople refuse to "self-identify themselves as ethnically French" (see the huge demonstrations following Jean-Marie Le Pen's (leader of far-right Front National) access to presidential second turn in April 2002) and when official French law forbids identification of French citizen by "ethnic" criterias???? Lapaz 19:11, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

  • First of all, well done Lapaz in butchering the article. It now appears as a giant POV according "the world of Lapaz" where ethnic groups don't exist and assimilationist poltical ideologies, not good ones, predominate. The concept of race and ethnicity under debate at the UN ? First I've heard of it but I do know the concept of "race" is in debate in the academic world. Ethnicity , though related, is not however in debate and your refusal to recognize indigenous peoples and ethnic groups, in this case France, is apalling and a form of left-wing assimilationist globalization that can be considered just as bad as right-wing racism. I don't know where you get the claim about 90 % of French people not self-identifying as "ethnic French", but it actually comes to help my argument as well. This means that the large numbers of people in France who are Basques, Bretons, Catalans and immigrants or descendants of immigrants don't consider themselves "ethnic French" either which can point to the fact that many still identify with their own ethnic origins. Also, just because the text from the ONE anthropolgist on the concepts of race/ethnicity was submitted to the UN, doesn't mean there aren't other opposing anthropological views on the subject. You've edited the article to make it sound as Levi-Strauss' and your views are the correct way and have been scientifically proven in some sort of police-state(many of his arguments have largely been disproven or challenged in the anthropolgical world). As I have said in the discussion on the French people:deletion page, even though government policy "forbids" usage of the term "ethnic French" it doesn't go to say they don't exist and the exact numbers of people who are "ethnic French" in France or identify themselves as so cannot be currently found due to a ban on such statistics by the French government (note: this renders your 90 percent figure useless). Just because the government has an assimlationist view (unique in Europe and largely so in the world for that matter) does not mean the French culture, people and identity appeared from nowhere. It obviously originated with the indigenous langue d'oil and langue d'oc speakers of France. I think you need to read up on some early medieval French history.
As for the French-speaking Swiss in the west of Switzerland, they are in fact quite-related to the ethnic French in many ways despite having somewhat different histories. Their culture originally stems from the Burgundians (who also moved on to Burgundy and France) while the culture of the German speaking-Swiss, which form the majority in Switzerland, stems from the Allemanni. See here: [5] 19:00, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
s/Lombars/Burgundian/ ? Marc Mongenet 21:03, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

On the other hand, he is right. The ideology is strongly enforced in France, and severely applied. It is indeed theorically forbidden to classify by race/ethnicity by any means necessary, but it dates back to 1872 and not Vichy (Lapaz has just done the usual attempt (and anachronism) to liken any definition of "ethnic French" to WWII gaz chambers and ovens). By me, the article is OK now, it really shows the state of the nation on this issue. The common anglo-saxon definition, however imprecise it is, that "ethnic French" are typically the whole set of French-speaking European people between the Rhine, the Atlantic, and the Pyrenees and the Alpes, is illegal in France. To bypass it when it is really needed, journalists are using the regional terms "Catalans", "Corsicans", or are using "White" beside a somewhat derogatory adjective, as an apology. It's really like that. 21:09, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Sic. That France is "assimilationist" & that it is "the only" (or almost) country in the world to (claim) to be so is beside the point. Do not also overestimate the importance of Brittons, Basques and other ethnic groups, especially concerning the point that they wouldn't qualify themselves as "French ethnic". First of all, because they, like any French, will refuse the (fascist) expression "Français de souche" (let's keep the debate to this expression for the time being, without translating it). Second, because even though if some (or many, whatever...) of them are aware of this cultural appartenance, in no way it is opposed to "French citizenship", except for the few (terrorists) extremists (mainly found among Corsicans, and they only represent a very low representation of the whole of Corsican people!). Talk about whatever you want - anyway, the debate will exist on any page whatsoever related to this subject - , debate about it, but be sure that "French" is not an "ethnic" but a "nationality". And France, sorry to upset your beliefs, as it is known today, is not any more older than 200 years old. One musn't mistake a kingdom of France with a nation called France. Nationalism simply didn't exist before the 19th century - not under the form it has taken since. Would you consider the option of merging it into the Demographics of France article? Lapaz 21:40, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Again, you speak as if you decide what people think and identify themselves as. Of course Bretons and Basques refuse "francais de souche". They are not ethnically French, they have their own culture and ethnic origins. You also claim that Nationalism is a modern invention, but this is only your POV and that of controversial Marxist scholars/researchers. Most peoples and academics reject the idea that nationalism is only a modern invention and the modern boundaries of France existed relatively similar to what they are now by the middle of the 15th century. Yes, "French" means a citizen/national of France just as does German, Italian, American, whatever, means the same for those countries. In some countries though, the name can also refer to the indigenous ethnic peoples who are responisble for the creation of the nation's culture, language and identity which in this case is the "ethnic French" (langue d'oil and langue d'oc peoples). France does include many various peoples and minorities as any modern nation does but this does not mean the indigenous ethnic French don't exist. To claim such things reminds me of the policies of the Soviet Union (and modern China) which saw ethnic crimes and near-destruction of cultures of many indigenous ethnic groups. (See Tibet, Xinjiang, Latvia, Soviet Union 22:13, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Godwin point. Rama 11:54, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Bretons refuse "francais de souche". Hmmm... what's the advice of Jean-Marie le Pen, born in Brittany ? Ericd 11:58, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
I hardly find Frances very liberal government the authority on how the French people should be seen. Every single informative page on wikipedia about Germany, English, Polish, Czech, etc all describe the original ethnic people except for France. This is unacceptable and contrary to the topic of the article. The French are an ethinc group and it needs to be discussed. Political correctness is against the topic therefore it doesn't belong here.

JJstroker 09:52, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

INSEE link

This discussion is sinking in a sea of POV. The writers of the article have obviously tried to present a balanced picture. They have not yet succeeded to perfection but they are human beings. If every article were deleted because of a comparable lack of references, there would not be much left in Wikipedia. Rather than jumping up and down because someone has had the temerity to go against 200 years of French Government policy, sort out the references. I have begun by inserting the Insee link as a demonstration of the lack of easily obtainable, relevant statistics owing to government policy. (RJP 10:51, 17 January 2006 (UTC))

Se c'è qualcosa di veramente vomitevole al mondo è vedere un popolo la cui identità è ben definita(sostanzialmente i Francesi sono una miscela di Celti e Romani) farsi beffe dei propri antenati disonorandone lo stesso sangue. Dire che la Nazione Francese è una mandria informe di bastardi è un insulto verso coloro che sono morti per difenderne il suolo durante i millenni. Dire che la Francia è una mistura di tutte le razze europee e che 22 milioni di francesi discendono da immigrati(specialmente nordafricani) è un affronto verso ogni vero francese. Chi scrive queste menzogne è un ipocrita cui il concetto di nazione è estraneo quanto lo è quello di democrazia per un mussulmano, visto che si vanta tanto di avere 10 MILIONI di maghrebini sul suolo della SUA PATRIA. Comunque la differenza tra un Italiano ed un Francese od un Belga è minima, per cui non mi sembra il caso di ditinguere tanto nettamente popoli e genti che possiedono affinità di sangue, lingua, cultura e religione(in fondo siamo tutti Europei).Cio' che bisogna evitare è il cadere nelle banalità e nelle sconcerie che cosi' spesso avvengono nel nostro continente, alimentate da un sentimento di autodistruzione che permea l'Europa intera e ne mina le basi piu' intime.(Spero che qualcuno capisca cio' che ho scritto, anche se ne dubito...).

Are you self-identifying as Italian or Padanian ? (5 MILIONI di Italiani sul suolo della SUA PATRIA... including me). I didn't understand what you wrote about democracy but I remember of someone named Benito who was very active to promote Italian migration outside Italy. There's a lot of true democrats among people of african ancestry living in in France. Ericd 12:56, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Fresh start

Given all the unsourced points of view, dubious statistics and other original research that used the litter this article (as evidenced by the hot deletion debate), I propose we make a fresh start, and that we stick to verifiable, sourced claims. David.Monniaux 18:07, 17 January 2006 (UTC)


There should be two parts in the article. The POV of french and swiss, and the POV of Anglo-saxon. After all, Americans can choose to be French people in their censuses, although there are not French. See that: [6]. Felipeh | babla 21:42, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

It is quite arrogant to say your POV stands for all French, whether in France or elsewhere. Epf 22:09, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I cannot see where it is stated or implied that Felipeh identifies his "POV", as you say, as the one of all the French. I find you, Epf, disturbingly aggressive. 22:33, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
You was fastest than me, Rama. Here's what I wanted to say to this arrogant ;-) Epf, before you talked. So, understand "the french way" and "the anglo-saxon way". Thats's ok like that ? Whatever you think, the first I mentionned is majority POV in France, not only for authorities. That's a fact I can know, talking with people around me, and reading french newspapers, for years and years. And an American citizen who has french ancestry is firstly American, not French. When he votes, he expresses himself as an American. For further talks : when I'll say "french", it'll be to say "citizens of France". Felipeh | babla 22:42, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
That American citizen claim "French ancestry" is perfectly allright for them, but says nothing on the existence of a "French ethnic" people. I don't quite understand why the results of the vote was ignored, maybe because I thought that this procedure was binding. Apparently, "deletion votes" are just deleted votes (this for the one calling me stalinist, anyway... :). The problem is that "French people" is not a very meaningful terminology. I don't understand, either, why does Epf deletes sentences like : "To be French is to be a French citizen (this is a simple definition), either by jus soli or by nationalization. The term "French" etymologically derives from the Franks." Lapaz 22:48, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Lapaz, the VfD is not really a vote, but a consultation. Decisions are not taken by a majority, but by consensus. Rama 22:58, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

It seems there are two definitions of French, which depend of the side of the Atlantic where we stand. That's why I proposed to make two different parts. Felipeh | babla 22:55, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

It seems to me that there is the notion of "ethnicity" is ill-defined, probably highly complicated in its strict scientific acceptance which is not what we see here, and used here to mention a concept strikingly similar to the one refered to as "race" at the end of the 19th Century. Rama 22:58, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
  • "The POV of French and Swiss" speaks for itself. Do you resemble all French and Swiss peoples' POV ? No, obviously not. It does not matter who you have spoken to in your time, you can only resemble your own persoanl POV unless you show a valid source/data stating other peoples POV. I find your views about me confusing and I am in favour of a balanced POV of all Wikipedians. Perhaps you need to realize that just because someone disagrees with your views, does not make that person "disturbingly aggressive". I also did not delete the sentence about French meaning a citizen of France and I do not know where you got that from. AS with French outside France, ethnic peoples also involves those who reside outside the home nation and their descendants. See the other articles. With regards to the "vote", if it can be called that, it should involve the entire Wikipedia community, not merely 50 people inolving groups with some sort of poltical agenda. Some people also "voted" more than once and the POV is equally divided, regardless of supposed "votes". Lapaz, you were labelled a dictator because you are making decisions based on only one set of opinions (largely yours) without the consideration of the other equal side of the debate. Epf 22:59, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Epf, I called you "aggressive" because I regard as extremely excessive and baseless your suggestion that Felipeh regards his "POV" as the one shared by every single French. I note that your reaction to this is not to tone down, but to insinuate that I called you thus only "because someone disagrees with [my] views". You further say "Lapaz, you were labelled a dictator because you are making decisions based on only one set of opinions", which I find highly offensive and absolutely not of a nature which might bring a peaceful atmosphere favouring good work here. I strongly advise you to adopt a more civil tone and stop systematically assuming "some sort of poltical agenda" (sic). Thank you very much in advance. Rama 08:10, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

  • It's more easy to know what is a general consensus in France when you live in France than when you don't live in France. There aren't two categories of french (ethnic and only citizen) in France except for the far right. We can't merge the two POV. Felipeh | babla 23:21, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Well that is your POV Felipeh but I disagree. I think there is some confusion amongst everyone as if the people in favour of the article are trying to say in order to be "French" you have to be an indigenous "français de souche". This is not the argument as we do recognize that French means a citizen of France. We are simply stating that there is also a group of people who are the indigenous ethnic French and responsible for the origins of the nation. We are not saying they have any more rights or are any more "true citizens" than other French nationals. We are just acknowledging the existence of the "ethnic French" who exist in the nation of France (where everyone is supposed to be equal, no matter the origin) and elsewhere in their diaspora. These peoples include the langue d'oil peoples and the langue d'oc peoples. Most French citizens who are not of ethnic French descent do not speak a local non-French langue d'oil or langue d'oc that many ethnic French learn as a first or second language. The French Republic includes various peoples who are all equal and integral to the country, but this does not mean the indigenous people who are responsible for the origins of the nation and culture do not exist, even if the Republic does not use or recognize the group. If the citizens of France deny the existence of ethnic groups/origins withnin its boundaries (as the Republic government states), why is it my friend who immigrated here to Trois-Rivières, Québec from France tells me while he lived there he was often not simply referred to as just French, but as "French of Arabic descent" ?[7] Fortunately for him, he came to a country (Canada) where that kind of discrimination is rarely found and multi-culturalism has worked profoundly thanks to the efforts of Pierre Elliot Trudeau. 03:23, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
To be allowed to say such things as "there is also a group of people who are the indigenous ethnic French", you have to
  • properly (properly) define what "ethnic" is; I do not mean taking some late-19th century pan-German or nationalist French book and replace every occurrence of "race" with "ethnic" (like it is mostly done now), but procure a scientific definition, backed with reputable sources -- articles by specialists of the domain, if possible. I strongly suspect that "ethnic" will actually have several nuances, even like this, but at least we'd be able to clearly identify the trends and schools of though -- and it will be better than the polymorphic mess that it is now.
  • find reputable sources about ethnics in France and talk about that, not about the a priori notions and clichés that people have about "French are descents of the Gauls". My intuition is that we will see no "French" ethnic at all in a serious study (or perhap something centred around the île-de-France, but that would be much more narrow than this notion of a "French ethnic" though would magically happen to fit the borders of France.
Now, we are basically saying that French people from Paris to Marseilles, from Brest to Strasbourg, are all "ethnic French" (regardless of accents, customs, physical traits), except if we arbitrarily decide that they are not (skin too dark). That if fits the discourse of the Front National leaves me indifferent, but it is plain stupid. Rama 08:35, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

New picture proposal

I don't see why it was removed there are some signs to identify French people. Ericd 00:18, 18 January 2006 (UTC)


I don't see why my recent contributions were deleted. They're as serious as the rest of this article. Ericd 01:01, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Now, they are not. The article will clearly show, prove and scientifically establish (by repeating it over and over) that French people also wear a white vest with tricolour suspenders. And a bra underneath. It's true, I saw it in Monty Python's Flying Circus. Rama 08:42, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
You're right but only in public at home we are more relax  :-) Ericd 08:53, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

This article is pure junk

This article had a very bad start. It was first a compilation of myth about the French being rude written by some contributors with a French-bashing agenda.

Then it was rebooted. At first I believe it was an improvement, but after carefull reading it was worse. This article became a complitation of "unsourced points of view, dubious statistics and other original research" (as coined by David) trying to define the French as an ethnic group.

The French are people with French citizenship. That's the POV of the French Republic but also what is accepted by international law and international organisms.

Well some people here may not care about the POV of the French governement, but the fact is that except some case of double citizenship people considered by French by the French governement are also considered as French by other countries.

According to some I have a problem because ethnicity, even as a concept, is taboo in France. According to others (or the same) I have another problem because "in the English language as "people" usually does not mean a group of individuals sharing the same citizenship and nothing else".

I may accept that "people" is polysemic. If it has several sense why should the definition of French people as an ethnic group be predominant ? It would be plainly stupid if I wrote "US people are an ethnic group". It's really unencyclopedic to start an article with a fuzzy title and claim without any valid source that one of the sense you could give to the title is the real one. A serious encyclopedic article should at least give the various senses of the title. A step further would be to have several articles with non-fuzzy titles.

As of today I think that the insistance to keep this article about French people as an article dealing with the "French ethnic group" (which is not defined in a scientific way inside the article) is either the result of the ignorance of some contributors or the result of a ideologic agenda. I think this applies as well to other articles about "ethnic groups", the choice to define the the Pole as an ethnic group instead of defining them as citizen of Poland is pure ideology.

What else ? The US governement and many other countries are collecting census data about the people's origins. The French didn't. Obviously, the French have an ideologic bias they're retrograde... Some may even think that the French are denying reality in a near stalinian way. And I am myself biased by official French ideology. Bullshit !

We are not that stupid. Everyone will agree that the people come from somewhere and they parents come from somewhere too, that's an objective fact. The French INED (Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques) is collecting and publishing a lot datas about immigration even if they got the figures by indirect means.

Let's notice now that the fact that some governements are collecting datas about people of French origin doesn't give any scientific validity to the existence of a French ethnic group. First of all NPOV require that this POV should have the same status as the French governement POV. Secondly self-proclaimed origin might be useful for the knowledge of migrations but they're far to be valid data about ethnicity. For instance I'm pretty certain that someone from the French Antilles will self-identify him as French in an US census. And what's the French community in London ? At least 2/3 of the French living in London I know are of north-African origins.

Ericd 10:45, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Note that in French, the translation of "French people" is peuple français, which paraphrases directly into "French national community", that is all people who have the French nationality, regardless of origins, religion, language or anything else. The mere title of this article is ill-chosen. Rama 12:00, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
"Peuple Français" = French citizens = which is the real sovereign of France (principe de souveraineté populaire). In fact French people themselve have decided that their community will have other basis than ethnicity. Ericd 12:07, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

When did French cease to be an ethnic group??

I have been reading this article and frankly, it is a complete mess. The argument seems to be over whether or not the French are a defined ethnic/cultural group. My question is, how are they not? The Russians, Italians, Greeks, Germans, Chinese, Welsh etc are all clearly specific ethnic groups with defined languages, cultures and histories rooted in specific territorial homelands. Despite grandiose notions of citizenship and republicanism, in substance, how on earth are the French any different?

"cultures and histories rooted in specific territorial homelands" this might be a definition for a nation not an ethnic group. Isn't the US culture deeply rooted in the USA territory ?

Basically you have three concepts that needs a definition :

- countries,
- nation,
- ethnic group.
Ericd 12:15, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Ericd and Rama: I really dont want to talk about this anymore. Everything has already been said in the deletion page. But just to illustrate a final point. Imagine the United States of America was not called the United States of America but the Sioux States of America. In this country the Sioux would constitute less than 1% of the population and most people with Sioux citizenship would be foreign (Irish,Pakistani Mexican whatever...). But we would still be allowed to write an article about the original Sioux people. The same goes for the ethnic French who are still a majority in France, we can write an article about them!!!--Burgas00 12:16, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

No. Because they do not exist. There is no such thing as a "French" ethnics. You might have an ethny centred somewhere around Marseille; the Britons; the Alsacians; the Northeners; the Basques; the Corsicans; the Parisians;... but there is no single group that can be called "ethnically French", it just does not make any more sense than "ethnically USAyan".
Furthermore, this article is absolutely not about "the ethnic French who are still a majority in France" (???), it is about the pre-conceptions and clichés that a handfull of users (all foreign to France, curious...) have about it. I cannot see a single serious scientific study referenced here (and don't tell me about the CIA-"Iraqi WMD"-Factbook please). Rama 13:28, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Two unfounded claims about France :

- there was original French ethnic group (When ? the real Europeans were Homo Neanderthalis not Sapiens),

- the ethnic French are still a majority in France.

As for the Sioux :

- where they a homogenous ethnic group ?

- in any case in would be more NPOV to write about the Sioux tribe, the Sioux culture or the Sioux nation ?

Ericd 12:25, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

The issue of reality of ethnicity is not only for french. Lot of people on earth can't define themselves by ethnicity. See in Brazil by exemple. And in former Yugoslavia, where the idea of ethnicity caused wars (although Bosniac, Serbs and Croats have same origins), a lot of citizens from mixed ancestry defined themselves as "Yugoslavian", which is not an ethnic group. Felipeh | babla 12:21, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

If I define myself as "citizen of the World" does it give a scientific existence to the "citizen of the World" ethnic group ? Well it exists but only as a social construction. Most French will prefer the word nation people could identify themselve as member of a nation. This as no ethnic basis and doesn't even require a country. Ericd 12:34, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Avis du conseil constitutionnel : "la Constitution, laquelle ne connaît que le peuple français, composé de tous les citoyens français sans distinction d'origine, de race ou de religion." Ericd 12:37, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

When did Americans cease to be an ethnic group?? How on earth are the Americans any different? Just wondering. Aaker 19:49, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Portuguese Français de Souche?

The article says that Portuguese are now considered "francais de Souche". In my opinion the Portuguese, (and now to a lesser extent, the Spanish)are still the subject of a considerable ammount of stygma in France. One only has to look at the typical concierge jokes. This is even visible in the French language where a cleaning lady is called a "conchita". This stygma is nevertheless decreasing as arabs become the new focus of French xenophobia. But it would be wrong to consider the Portuguese "Francais de Souche".They are not generally seen that way in France.--Burgas00 12:54, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Who call cleaning lady a "conchita" ? Ericd 13:07, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Moi je suis etranger Eric, mais j'ai entendu cette expression plusieurs fois...Genre, je me mets a cuisiner pour des invités français et ils disent "ahhh tu vas etre la conchita ce soir!"--Burgas00 13:32, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Change de fréquentations, surtout si tu es étranger ;-) De plus, je pense qu'il ne sont pas des vrais Français. Un vrai Français considère que seuls les Français peuvent faire de la bonne cuisine, par définition les étrangers ne comprennent rien à la gastronomie, donc une étrangère ne peut pas faire la cuisine chez un "Français de souche". Ericd 14:03, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
And when we say "Parigots, têtes de veaux, Parisiens, têtes de chiens"? What's the link with ethnicity? Felipeh | babla 14:01, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Very strong ! Obviously for a real Provençal like me (well don't investigate to much in my ancestry), the Parisians are some kind of degenerative race. Ericd 14:06, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
"Conchita" ("Colchita" ?) is the stereotypical name for a housewife; "figaro" is the one for a barber. I see neither anti-potuguese not anti-Italian sentiment implied there. (Rama: Conchita is a typical Spanish and Portuguese woman's name- from Maria Concepcion)--Burgas00 14:58, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Furthermore, if they have the French nationality, how are they Portuguese or Spanish ? Oh, because of their "ethnicity", of course -- but, wait, if someone had Spanish ancestor centuries ago, are they still of "Spanish ethnicity" ? if not, how does ethnicity wash out ?
The mere starting point of the discussion is unsound, and it keeps showing when you push the reasoning to its logical implications. Rama 13:40, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

There was a strong anti-Italian feeling in France in the early 40's with a mix of rational and irrational motivations. A small part of the Italian living in France were fascist agents, a larger part were anti-fascist and would later joined resistance movements, the Free French Forces or even directly the US Army (I must wrote that there was also a lot of desertors in the Italian forces -especially on northern African front- that joined the other side. It could be interpreted as the idiosyncratic cowardice of the Italians -You know, their understand "Bayonette au canon" as "Camionettes et Camions"- or the wisdown of a people that knows since the fall of the Roman Empire that the sense of history isn't a straight line.) the larger part of the Italians in France just choosed to adopt a low profile and being as invisible as it was possible, like my grandfather did and just like anywhere many imigrants does. Ericd 14:32, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

At every new wave of massive immigration, you have some extend of hostility and new excuses to say that precedent immigration was possible to assimilate, but this one is not. Example include:
  • the Belgians: too "Northern" or "German-like" mentality -- were willing to work in mines when others were on strike
  • the Italian: did not even speak French, were too Sourthern (add the usual stereotypes)
  • The Poles: OK, the previous ones were actually all right, but these ones can't be assimilated: they are Slavic ! They don't even speak a Roman languages !
  • The Magrebans: well, the Poles were OK because they are Europeans, but these ones are not even from the same continent ! And they have a different religion, eeek !
  • ...
I remember a man who confessed to being a racist (he was not ashamed of it); he said something like "I don't like Arabs. Oh well all Arabs I know are nice and I like them, but you know, the others. Those ones are bad people".
When I see the pattern, I think that even the immigrants from Alpha Centauri have a good chance of integration, over the time, given a bit of patience. Studying the perception of immigration is writing the history of stupidity, ignorance, a priori and clichés; it is also a history of progress, since even the most ignorant, vulgar and narrow-minded people eventually accept immigration. But making theories about "ethnics" (especially when the term "ethnic" is not yet even defined) is a doomed endeavour. Rama 14:46, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
He may as well have confessed as being anti-racist. It depends where the wind blows "Je ne suis pas raciste mais..." ou "Je connais même un jeune avocat africain..." (thanks Alain Souchon) ou "on est pas racistes pour deux sous mais on ne veut pas de ça chez nous..." (thanks Pierre Perret).
From a personal POV there's some person in the arab community I have reasons to hate (no more but no less reasons and not very different reasons that I could have to hate some "real French persons", mostly in the far-right area, but sometimes elsewhere where were they're not supposed to be), there's others that saved me, no less. This is turning a bit "Café du commerce" don't you think ? Ericd 15:06, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
One of the arguments used against the Italians in the 40s was that they were "too catholic" for France. BTW official Tunisian governement statistics estimate that there's around 40% of "Musulmans pratiquants" in Tunisia ;-) Ericd 15:46, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
BTW I recently heard a girl originating from the Martinique explaining that East-Europeans girls were dirty and never washed themselves ;-). Ericd 15:56, 18 January 2006 (UTC)~
Obviously French people are unable to write an encyclopedic entry on French people, so they should let people who can set aside their political and ideological views and their emotions write it in a real NPOV. Same goes for this lamentable "French Republic POV", the "only country" in the world which practice "assimilation" (any similarity of this concept to the American melting-pot is, of course, a pure coincidence), which is, as did all TVs around the world show during the 2005 "riots", a "total failure". Hence, instead of practicing this social discrimination, which has, of course, as primary cause the refusal to acknowledge the existence of "races" or to classify people according to religious or ethnics criterias, French people should acknowledge that some of them form the "real ethnic French people" while the others are just pseudo-French people, who became French through artificial means, mainly obtaining French citizenship. As everyone knows, "ethnic" definition is limited to "genetics", which can be "scientifically measured" by some (highly secret) means, and has nothing to do with artificial means...
By pity i'll stop it here... and simply calmy respond to this argument from User:, whom I trust (this time without irony) his good-will: "Most French citizens who are not of ethnic French descent do not speak a local non-French langue d'oil or langue d'oc that many ethnic French learn as a first or second language." This doesn't means anything, as "langue d'oil" and "langue d'oc" are medieval languages. Today, French people speak French - the Occitan revival in the 1960s-70s must not be overestimated, France is really different compared to Spain on this question (see for example the new Catalan statute that they want to pass, which has caused such an uproar overthere that Spanish coming from other regions have started a boycott of Catalan's cava - the catalan equivalent to champagne). Henceforth, I'll just like to point out that "ethnic French" do not learn "langue d'oil or langue d'oc", neither as a first or second language - since argumenting on one's own personal experience here seems acceptable (which is a logical mistake), I'll remark that I was once flatmate to a student passing his exam to become an Occitan-language teacher. I can assure you that they aren't more than twenty such teachers in France...
Last argument: Since French "social policies" are so bad, causing so much social discrimination, the solution is to divide French citizens into "ethnic French" and "non-ethnic French". Like this, we will surely be able to stop all kinds of discrimination... So, last answer to this numbered user, your friend certainly says that he is considered in France as a "French with Arab ascendency". Nobody here denies that there is such discrimination!!!. He would even probably be called here a Beur an expression which in itself is an oxymoron, since he has French nationality, thus not being an immigrant - his parents were, not him -, but which was forged to highlight the durable discrimination of which people from the Maghreb are victims.) The same goes, in a lesser manner since they've been here longer, for Italians, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Russian princes (you know, the White Nobles Russian who flew away after 1917 and became French taxis!!!)... But that some people are excluded from French citizenship (even though they are French citizens), being victims of various types of discrimination (mainly, difficulties in finding a job because of racism, which explains why some of them quit France), does not at all means that they're is a true "French ethnic" group. Quite the reverse: it is because the myth of a "French ethnic group" still has strenght that these "second-generation immigrants" can be excluded from society.
Finally... The term of "French" etymologically derives from the "Franks", which we will all agree, I assume, formed an "ethnic group". And do you know what African French-colony students could read in their history textbooks, at the start of the century? "Our ancestors the Gauls... ("Nos ancêtres les Gaulois..."). This notice was removed, however, not because French people didn't share the same ancestors than Africans; it was removed because if such racial theories were more than common at the start of the century, they have been invalidated after World War II. Gauls, and Franks, have very little to do with Modern French. It would be better to stop transforming history into mythology. Excuse-me for this long post... Lapaz 16:15, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Lapaz, I agree with pretty much everything you have written. Is it me or have you slightly changed your position? Most of us in this debate agree on the serious problem France has with racism... However I think that the most harmful of "mythologies" is that of the French republic. The reason I take this issue to heart is that denying the existence of the French ethnicity reinforces the myth of French republicanism which, in turn, denies the existence of very serious social problems in France.

The position of many French contributors to this debate can be summarized in "French ethnic group? No such thing! We should delete the page!! There is no racism in France!We are all citizens of the great and unique French republic where everyone is equal!"

That is what I find irritating...--Burgas00 20:47, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

They are serious social problems in France. Basically too much unenployement and not enough affordable housing. This affect not only imigrants and their childrens but also a large part of the "Français de souche". I don't think the affirmation of a French ethnicity will solve the problem.

My position and probably the position of several French contributors to this debate is to what you summarized :

- There is no French ethnic group, since 2000 years there are several wave of immigration that in the long run formed the French people.

- It's not a serious enclyclopedic work to write an article about French people as an ethnic group when the French don't define themselves as an ethnic group and when there's no scientific evidence of the existence of this group.

- There is racism in France. (And that's an excellent reason for not to collect personal datas about religion ethnicity or ancestry. The last time we did it in France this was used by the Nazis and Vichy to exterminate French jews.)

- All French are citizens of French Republic that refuse any segregation based on race or religion between them. (Some may find this obsolete but I was never puzzled by the modernity of the apartheid regime in South Africa nor by racial segregation in the USA not so long ago.)

Ericd 21:54, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

BTW you know there's a civil war in Côte d'Ivoire all this started with some politician stating that there was an "Ivoirité" and opposing the "Ivoiriens de souche" to the others. Ericd 21:58, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Indeed, just because ethnic statistics are gathered, does not mean it leads to racism. Look at all the other European countries where ethnic statistics are gathered. Do you see them having the same problems as France did recently ? Not yet, but even so, gathering such data does not make the situation better or worse. A multi-cultural society can be seen as better because it encourages people to retain their culture and not lose their identity when they immigrate to countries like France.
  • As for people in the Americas reporting French ancestry: If you go to Quebec and talk to the majority of white Francophones there, they will tell you their ancestors all or mainly originated in France (note: 16th,17th and 18th cent. before waves of large migration to France) and not from other countries as can be seen with other ethnic groups there (African-Haitians, Italians, Irish, etc.). Look at List of Canadians by ethnicity and it will tell you how many people in Canada distinguish themselves as having ethnic French origins from simply being a French speaker (which is also a statistics category under languages at [8]). The number of Francophones/French-speakers is larger than those who are of French origin (majority of those with French origin in Quebec; New Brunswick and Ontario to a lesser degree).
  • The same goes for significant numbers of French in the US, and indeed many (if not most) are distinguishable from other US citizens as they have retained vary degrees of ethnic traits (surnames and facial features being most notable for those who no longer speak the language). In Louisiana (both Cajuns and descedants of immigrants from France), and Vertmont (French-Canadian descendants) those with French ancestry are more easily distinguishable as they retain the language and most of the culture and traditons, amongst other traits. 14:34, 19 January 2006 (UTC), you are essentially confirming my theory that your conception of a "French ethnic" is founded only on the perception that American residents have of their ancestors ("My ancestors come from France" -> "French ethnic in Canada"). This is a cliché, not a scientific fact. Some people in France will trace back their ancestors to Austria-Hungaria; are the Autrian-Hungarians an ethnic group because of that ? You cannot define a "French ethnic group" by looking at the demographics of Canada or of the USA; it might make sense for them in their census, but this does absolutely not scale to all Frenchmen. Rama 15:50, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Indeed there would be a minority in France who could trace their ancestry to the Austro-Hungarian empire but I doubt they would claim that term as the empire was not a signle ethnic entity, but was a composition of various ethnic groups besides the Magyars and Austrian Germans (eg. Croats, Slovenes, Czechs). Their ethnicity would all depend on how much Magyar, German or other descent they were of and identified with.
  • What are you talking about Rama ? These American/Canadian people are claiming the majority of their roots and ethnic origins to the indigenous peoples of France (most of which before the large waves of immigration to France). Of course this helps define the French ethnic group. These people aren't of native Amerindian ancestry (unless they claim to be Métis) but distinguish themselves with their French ethnic origins. France has people who are ethnic French. Put it this way: You and Lapaz and whoever have stats from INED, INSEE on who are immigrants and descendants of immigrants in France (supposedly around 40 %). Now, if you take away these people and take away the Basques, Bretons, Corsicans and Catalans in France, what do you have left ??? BINGO. The peoples who trace most if not all their roots to France for the past 1000 years or more. The people who CREATED the nation of France, the French language (and other Oil languages) and French identity/culture (derived from Gallo-Roman with Frankish). The people who share various ethnic traits and the people who are again distinguished from other French citizens by the statistics you yourself also like to reference. I mean guy, where do you think French surnames came from ? You think those people all just diappeared ? Just as the Castilians and Catalans are the dominant indigenous groups in Spain, the langue d'oil peoples and langue d'oc peoples are the dominant indigenous groups in France. And although people with French ethnic origins (as in indigenous French, not just a citizen of France)around the world may be different than the ethnic French in France, they also share common roots and similarities with them (especially the ethnic French Quebecois and the Acadians/Cajuns). Also, do not speak on behalf of all French citizens because it is a ridiculous idea that one person represents the view of every single citizen in France. Rama, you can't win at this!

Epf 20:51, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

what about the indigenes francaises? show me or you're out of here. 03:03, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

CIA Factbook

I have the impression that lost of the information cited here comes from this "CIA Factbook" thing. I am not at all certain that I approve of this.

  • First, however thrilling it might be to put a "CIA" somewhere and assume one is as well-informed as the President of the USA, it is just not the case.
  • Second, the CIA is not a demographic agency. One of the aspects of its work is to collect and review demographic information, but there is absolutely no reason to favour its information over those of scholars and university specialists -- much to the contrary.
  • Third, the CIA is known for abysmal failures occasionally, as we have witnessed again recently; basing our article on this sole source is perfectly unsound.

I therefore reiterate my call for scientific and reputable sources. Rama 08:14, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree Rama that other more scientific and academic sources are needed, but you and the pro-communist Lapaz have not provided any such references. All you have stated is the current French Republic government POV and two non-government agencies which gather statistics (but which can not be considered more dependable than CIA/US State Department statistics). So right now the ethnic French and "anti-ethnic French" POV's have about the same backing of (or lack there of) reputable sources. 14:16, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Great source of US government stats on other countries: [9]
  • More specifically, look at the the section about France, and the sub-heading "PEOPLE": [10]
"Three basic European ethnic stocks--Celtic, Latin, and Teutonic (Frankish)--have blended over the centuries to make up its present population."
"More than 1 million Muslims immigrated in the 1960s and early 1970s from North Africa, especially Algeria. About 90% of the population is Roman Catholic, 7% Muslim, less than 2% Protestant, and about 1% Jewish. In 2004, there were over 5 million Muslims, largely of North African descent, living in France."
"The French language derives from the vernacular Latin spoken by the Romans in Gaul, although it includes many Celtic and Germanic words."

And Lapaz is saying that the Gallo-Roman/Frankish culture and language have "nothing to do with mdoern France." ? 15:00, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Lapaz is certainly correct in saying that things have evolved a great deal since. Things can certainly be tracked back to the Gallo-Romans, but one who would suggest that it is simply so would be culprit of a great oversimplification: lots of things happened between the Gallo-Romans and the 21st century.
Besides, there are lots of things in your quotation which are typical USAyanisms, the most blatant being the "90% Catholic" without mentionning that the overwhelming majority of people do not believe in God ("not really" or "not at all"), which is quite incompatible with "Roman Catholic". As usually, we see an oversimplification here. Rama 15:24, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Note that, for all its defects, this Note mentions, as "ethnic groups", "Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Sub-Saharan African, Indochinese, and Basque minorities". I see no "French ethnic" here [11]. Rama 15:27, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Umm, again, read this link (US Department of State) and not the link on the CIA World Fact book. Here it says how those blended to make the current indigenous ethnic French population. Notice how the Celtic-Latin, Frankish blend is separated from the those who are immigrants/descendants of immigrants. 20:27, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

American census bureau ancestry claims

One question

These statistics include an American ancestry claim, numberring 20,188,305 [12] distinct from the various American natives ancestry claims. So we can suppose that most of the people making such a claim are in fact of European, Asian, or African ancestry. We could suppose that 3% of them are of French ancestry. That makes roughly 600,000. --Teofilo talk 18:08, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Another question

Do you really believe the people claiming a French ancestry have really zero British or German or African ancestry? Should we take those claims at face value? --Teofilo talk 18:08, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Well. Do you really believe the the people claiming to have English ancestry have really zero German, French or African ancestry? No, that is true for almost every immigrants. Not even them, also those residents in one country can't be so sure about it. It's always the question of whats the majority ancestry is. --Lucius1976 22:39, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't think that most people have enough data about their ancestry for calculating what might be their "majority ancestry". They may know that a great grand-father or a great grand-mother was from Scotland or from Ireland, but they might have no idea where their other great grand-parents were from. And don't people lie about their identity, for example in order to protect their children? The Human Stain is a novel speaking about a man who deliberately hides his African ancestry and assumes a Jewish identity. --Teofilo talk 12:19, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Please cite your sources

Please do not input figures without telling where they come from and how they were made, and in which year. Unless a note is providing giving such detailed information, I will remove them, sticking to the policy : any material that is challenged and has no source may be removed by any editor Wikipedia:Citing sources--Teofilo talk 20:35, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Well sometimes it is impossible to tell. Some sources are always only educated guesses. Just because someone publised there educated guess doesn't make it more accurate. In my opinion it's fine to change figures without having sources. But removing figures altogether is not the best way in my opinion. Furthermore, because the French census expressily forbids the question of ethnicity, those educated guesses can never be backed up by hard figures, can they? But leaving it completlely blank is nonsense in my opinion. Sure, today French is a nationality and because of political reasons the existance of a ethnicity is denied nowadays. But I do believe it exists, definded by culture and ancestry. --Lucius1976 20:45, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

There isn't one common culture in France, exept the republican or the mass media cultures. There wasn't any common ancestry in France at any time. Iberians came from Spain, Celts came from Central Europe, Roman came from Italy, Breton came from England, Franks came from Netherlands, etc. Felipeh | babla 22:13, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
At modern times, each region of France had its own culture, and there wasn't any genetic homogeneity.Felipeh | babla 22:19, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
What your are saying is also true to Germany. Bavarians, Saxons, Franks, Suebs, some Romans and Celts all mixed up to become eventually the Germans. But also the Franks mixed up with some others. Because the Franks was only the name of various smaller Germanic tribes who eventually became one. But someone has to agree that at some time in history and even now something like a French people, a German people existed. Well if you wanted to be precise you must say there is only one ancestry, and that is the Hominid Lucy. Doesn't make much sense for a enzyklopedia.--Lucius1976 22:34, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
What you said proved your ignorance of what are the french nation (or just what is a nation) and the demography and history of France. We perfectly can say that people from south of France have ancestry in what is today Italy and Spain and people from north have ancestry in what is today England and Germany. The distinction in Middle Ages, which is still active today by many ways (habits, accent, gastronomy, dialects, history, way of live), between Langue d'Oc and Langue d'Oïl, was the same than the difference between countries of common or oral law (northern France) and coutries of roman or written law (southern France): the influence of roman in southern France was much stronger then in northern France where germanic influence was proeminent. So, where are the common culture and ancestry? When is there a French people? 496 (Clovis)?, 843 (Verdun treaty)? 987 (Hugues Capet)? 1208 (Albigense crusade)? 1534 (ordonance de Villers-Coterets)? 1661 (absolute monarchy)? Felipeh | babla 23:16, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Lucius, a "French people" just doesn't exist, exactly the way a Loch Ness monster doesn't exist, though some people may think or might have thinked in the past that it existed. Does it make sense to write in an encyclopaedia today that a Loch Ness monster exists? --Teofilo talk 13:10, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, where is the common culture between Germans living on the North Sea and living in Southern Bavaria? They dress differently, look differently, speak considerably differently and eat differently. So, what you are telling is basically true in every Nation to some extend. Furthermore the Nation state is a quite recent invention. Before a French nationstate existed there was a french state inhabitated by people where mostspoke some dialect of french and had a somewhat similar culture. They were a French people, so to speak, even if that peoples ancestry was celtic, germanic or roman. But because neither celtic, nor germanic or roman is a current ethnicity so we just have to stick with the more modern one. Agreed the whole idea of ethnicity is somewhat fuzzy, because there never is such thing as a "pure" ethnicity. But if you want to tell me that there is no French people, then there is no German, English, Dutch etc. people either. The creation of those are very comparable and in no way different from what happened in France. Correct, the idea what a nation is differs somewhat. Expecially between Germany and France. But that is not really the point here. --Lucius1976 13:23, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
« there is no German, English, Dutch etc. people either. » I'd quite agree with that. Some Englishmen might be of brythonic origin, but others might be of Norman origin. The Queen's motto is written in French and her ancestors are German. Christianity is a religion widely followed in England, and this is a religion that says « There is neither Jew nor Greek » (Gal 3:28). --Teofilo talk 14:41, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

What defines a French people ?

So, untill the creation of the french nation, in France there wasn't:

  • any common language (Langue d'Oc, Langue d'Oïl, breton, etc. : not dialects but different languages)
  • any common genetic ancestry
  • any common law (common law in north and roman law in south)
  • any common institution (pays d'Etat, pays de gouvernement)
  • any common history (except those of the kings since XIIIth century)
  • any common culture
  • any common legend or religious trend
  • any common type of family structure
  • any common rural organisation (openfield, bocage, etc.)
  • etc., etc.

So, what defines a French people?
Famous historian Fernand Braudel wrote that the France (and the French) exist because it has evident natural boundary (Rhine, Alpes, Pyrenees, Ocean, Mediterranean). History has been influenced by the geography. That doesn't make an ethnic group.
I don't know for the German, Lucius1976, and I don't see why the French should be like the German. Have German been influenced until recent years by so many ethnic group in their history, as the French ? I don't think so.
Whatever, talking about the French people is like talking about the British people (instead of English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh) or about Spanish people (instead of Catalan, Basque, Castillan, Galician, Aragonese). The specific centralisation in France (with first steps in the late Middle Ages, but firstly strong in XVIIth century and decreasing since the 1980's) has made the illusion of a French people but it is false at all scientific POV (see upside). Felipeh | babla 14:33, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I'am tempted to rewrote your first sentence as "So, untill the creation of the french state, in France there wasn't:". The third Republic did a lot work promote the myth that France was a state-nation. Ericd 18:19, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Felipeh laisse tomber. Tu sais bien que nous avons tord et que Braudel est un con. L'extrème-droite à toujours raison puisqu'elle a la science infuse ;-) Ericd 18:25, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
  • So, the creation of the French nation was not until the creation of the French Republic just over 200 years ago ? Gee, I wonder what most historians as well as all of the Kings of France would think of such a statement ? Most academics trace the beginnings of the nation to the death of Charlegmagne in 814 AD., but apparently a group of neo-Communist far left-wing assimilationists on Wikipedia believe that French culture, identity and people only originated from the creation of the French Republic in the modern era. Laughable, completely and utterly laughable. Where is it that you get that the French had no common genetics, history, religion or culture before the almighty creation of your beloved Republic (which would have conquered all of Europe if it wasn't for the British and Prussians) ? Were you a famed geneticist alive in the late 18th century ? Practically all historians will show you how France was predominantly Roman Catholic prior to the republic (evidenced by the flight of the Huguenots). As for history, what more has to be said other than the people had (still have) a common origin in Gaul with Roman and Frankish invasions/influence ? No common culture ? You gotta be kidding. French cuisine is reknowned around the world and family traditions and customs exist in ethnic French families that have been passed down for generations. France doesn't even have the same "work routine" as its hard work-obsessed neighbours the UK and Germany. As for genetic ancestry, the ethnic French do have very common physical traits and most physical anthropologists have claimed the ethnic French are more homogenous in this sense than peoples of neighbouring states such as Germany and England. Genetic tests on the French populations may have been done if someone can get the link but I can't provide that. I can provide you with the Physical Anthropological information done by 20th century researchers on native European populatoins if one is willing to not have a closed mind and able to appreciate ethnic diversity. Correlations between this research and modern population genetics has already been made and more is anticipated as the study of population genetics is better understood. Message me on my Talk page if your interested.

Epf 21:29, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Thats's exactely what I'm going to do. Felipeh | babla 22:23, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

3 pages on French people

There are now 3 pages on the issue:

  1. French people
  2. French citizenship and identity
  3. Demographics of France

The more pages the better... in my opinion.Less arguing that way.--Burgas00 21:36, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

I edited your message in order to create links.--Teofilo talk 12:39, 20 January 2006 (UTC)


Dear Lucius,

Using estimates is no problem as far as you know where they come from, and how they were calculated. Why do you insist on saying there are 100 000 French in the Channel Islands? Why not twice? or half? --Teofilo talk 12:33, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

The inhabitants on the Channel Islands off the coast of France are officially part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. They speak both English (the islands' official language) and a Norman dialect of French, Nourmaund. They aren't officially French people, but subjects to the British crown, and this goes back to 1066 AD (nearly a millennia) when the Normans invaded and claimed England for William the Conqueror. You may heard some Channel Islanders got a special saying: "Britain does not own us, we own Britain" indicates their relative ties with the Normans and they are surely related to the Windsor royal family. I don't think it's meant literal, but a tongue-and-cheek joke with some historical proof. The islands' people carried on some of their ancestral language, customs and traditions. +Mike D 26 04:02, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

The "shared language and origin in France" discourse

This expression is meaningless. The linguistic homogeneity inside the territory of contemporary France is a very recent phenomenon. A few hundred years ago the people living in that territory spoke many different languages. --Teofilo talk 12:57, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

The French language became the common langage of the French in the third quater of the XX° century and the third Republic made serious efforts to discourage the use of regional language. In my region people born in 1900 were all speaking Provençal as their primary language. Ericd 15:53, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Using unconsistent figures in the same table

The 54 million estimate is roughly the number of French nationals. That includes people that may claim a non-French ancestry if a survey was made. So how can you put this figure in the same table alongside the number of French ancestry claims in the USA? --Teofilo talk 13:04, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Despite the fact France had lost millions of people in wars and settled millions of other "Frenchmen" in overseas colonies, the "45 or 50 million Frenchmen" paraphrase is repeated in France to count how many ethnic and national French people there are. In 2005, the population estimates for France are 65 million (includes resident aliens and immigrants of other races or nations), while 30-40 million more have French ancestry, and up to 10 million other "Frenchmen" under different national citizenship throughout Europe shares the border with metropolitian France. I guess we should say "100-110 million Frenchmen" to keep it accurate or exact. I believe over 15 million Americans claimed French ancestry (see main aritcle: French American) and may include 10 million French-Canadians in Canada, mostly are francophones with a higher fluency in the English language other than a minority of those in Quebec speaks/knows only French. + Mike D 26 04:09, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Cmon this introduction is a complete consensus!!!

"The original French (French: les Français), or French people, with a mix of pre-Celtic, Celtic, Germanic and Italic origins, make up the majority of the inhabitants of France in Western Europe [citation needed]. Their ethnicity, which is nowadays contested by many, could be based on a shared language and origin in France. There are sizeable communities of "ethnic French" both in overseas departments and territories and in former French colonies in Africa.

However, French identity (in France) is not defined by ethnicity but by citizenship, see French citizenship and identity. France has exhibited a high rate of immigration from Europe, Africa and Asia throughout the 20th century and a relatively large minority of French citizens are of foreign extraction. Demographics of France especially deals with the population of France."-- 14:12, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

This intoduction is not a consensus, and I find it egrgious.
1) it is not "les Français", it is "Français" ! Why do you non-French speking people feel forced to put articles eveywhere, I will never know. This is wrong, this is bizarre, and this proves that you don't know the language. Please stop that it is unnerving.
2) The is no commons "ethnicity" to all inhabitants of France, even the "white" ones.
3) "ethnic French", even between quotes, means nothing.
4) That the French identity is defined by citizenship changes nothing to the fact that "French ethnic" does not exist and means nothing. Rama 14:51, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
French ethnic means nothing? Maybe you should tell this those french citizens of arabian descent who live in those satellite cities of Paris and elsewhere. To quote Daniel Cohn-Bendit: "In comparison with the conditions in those satellite cities, Berlin-Kreuzberg is paradise". Means nothing? Maybe you should think about that. --Lucius1976 22:39, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Here is an excerpt of your personal page, Rama : "A World citizen, I try to support I/O in English, German, French, Latin, Greek and Japanese, with random success." I mean, you don't fit better than any Anglophone on this question about "ethnic French", since, you're yourself "a World citizen", a self-proclaimed man without identity. 16:06, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Rama tu es un cosmopolite au service de l'Anti-France ;-)... Ericd 18:22, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Neutrality dispute

I restore the {{POV}} label, because saying Their ethnicity, which is nowadays contested by many, could be based on a shared language and origin in France in the first paragraph is an attempt to give too much attention to a minority view. We could have an "ethnicity view" section at the bottom of the article, but not in the first paragraph. The contents in that section should provide at least one name of a scholar known for holding this view.

(by example, the article on the Earth only very briefly refers to the Flat Earth theory, a view of a distinct minority). We should not attempt to represent a dispute as if a view held by only a small minority of people deserved as much attention as a majority view, and views that are held by a tiny minority should not be represented except in articles devoted to those views.Wikipedia:Neutral point of view--Teofilo talk 14:28, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

The whole article is about French people as ethnicity. If you want to write more about French as citizenship then to so, there is a article like that. But in my opinion the paragraph is quite balanced, because it mentiones both. Where the paragraph is placed is not matter if it is not neutral, only the content matters. --Lucius1976 14:46, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

"The whole article is about French people as ethnicity" ? Really ? Why so ? Again, there is no such thing as a "French ethnicity", so either write an article that says "no such thing, move along", or write an article about something else. What is an "ethnicity", to begin with ? Rama 14:52, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Just because you say there is no such thing and the French state says there is no such thing, doesn't mean there is no such thing. Then why declare second or third generation americans they are of French ethnicity, becaus say have French ancestors. I did mention that it is rather fuzzy. But if this article about French ethnicity is unneccesary, then so are all the others, beginning from English people, Dutch people, Russians and so on. --Lucius1976 15:05, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

But what IS a an "ethnicity" ? Is there a USA ethnicity because some people come from the USA ? "French ethnicity" is just something American say because from their perspective, France is very far away and they do not distinguish one ethnicity from another.
Now, if you insist in making French mistakes, in saying that there is a "French ethcnicity", and why not a "Negro ethnicity" (after they are all just black, right ? What are there Tutsi and Hutu and whatever ? Too complicated for us), I wash my hands of it. I am just puzzled by your attitude of writing an encyclopedia by refusing the existence of subtleties that you do not understand. Rama 15:22, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

But Rama there IS a Negro ethnicity in the US, they are people who share a common identity (black), history (slavery etc) and origin (West Africa). We are not going to deny them that because some of them come originally from modern day Nigeria and others from modern day Sierra Leone. Or because some of them have some ancestors who are not black...

In Africa there is a Tutsi ethniciy and a Hutu ethnicity. So what if some Tutsis actually have origins from 1000 years ago in this other tribe 25 miles away??? It is all so simple!!!

So enough with this deconstructivist nihilist attitude!!!--Cassius80 15:38, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Deconstruction is a very efficient method in social sciences. Ericd 02:05, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Then write your article at cajun or something and stop writing American-specific nonsense here ! Rama 15:43, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

"In Africa there is a Tutsi ethniciy and a Hutu ethnicity." From what I know studies shows that this has no genetic basis, thus this is self-identification to a community. Ericd 16:00, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

But Rama there IS a Negro ethnicity in the US, they are people who share a common identity (black), history (slavery etc) and origin (West Africa). We are not going to deny them that because some of them come originally from modern day Nigeria and others from modern day Sierra Leone. Or because some of them have some ancestors who are not black...

How are 20th-century racial US politics relevant to an article about France, exactly? David.Monniaux 16:02, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Hmmm... Half a century back they would have explained us that we should adopt some kind of segregation... Ericd 16:09, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I do understand that there is a modern definition of what French is, which is one citzenship, not on ethnicity. But this is true to most other Western European nations, yet still this is distinguished between a people and nationality (and identity). So, just for the sake of conformity with the other articles of other European people, leave it like this. The modern definition of what French is can be explained in detail on the article French citizenship and identity. --Lucius1976 16:14, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I think many Us contributors have no idea of the diversity of France. We the have Provencals, the Chti's, the Auvergnants, the Alsatians, the Parisians... And what about the Basques ? Linguistic and genetic studies show than the Basques are more different from the average French than the German or Romanians. Ericd 16:19, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Lucius please give me a definition of "American people" is it the same as "Amerindian tribes" ? Ericd 16:20, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, because of the massive immigration into the united states in the recent hundred years, no overall ethnicity or people has developed yet . It's still in a state of flux. The most original people in that sense are surely the various indian people in this area. That is distinctivly different from the history of the european states. They surely also composed of various "original" ancestry like Goth, Frank, Roman. But because of the long history and stathood various new people emerged, like the French, German, Italian, English. In very recent times because of more immigration and intermarriage and the development of higher integration, maybe new people emerge. But, because of the historical development I believe it is appropriate the distinguish between nationality and ancestry to some extent. It does not have any political implications but is just for the sake of genealogy and historical reasons. If there is no such thing like a French people, than why have the immigrants of those people, even if they are french, so less opportunities than those "older" French? So, the political concept of melting-pot in France do have it's flaws. It seems that ancestry is still something that is important.

--Lucius1976 16:55, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Thus there's is no American people ? No US politician as ever witten or said something like "I am confident in the the wisdom of American people to elect the right President." ? Ericd 17:02, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, I was more refering to people in sense of ethnicity, not like nation. Surely they say it, but not in that sense we talk about here. Thats why you can't find a article about "American people". Lets not talk about the Americans anyway. We more should look on the European perspective. Concerning the historical development, there is no huge difference between French, Spanish, English, Italian history. All of them agree, that there is such a thing like a English people, Italian people, Spanish people in terms of ancestry. Only the French seem to have the problem with this, agreeable, more historic definitions. Thats it for now. This discussion driving me crazy. Aren't there any other Europeans around who can backing me up on this :-)?

--Lucius1976 17:10, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Lucius, you really don't know what you are talking about. Say to a Catalan or to a Basque (who are spanish as the Castillan) they are from spanish ancestry, and he could be very angry against you. See the debates about autonomies in Catalonia and in Basque country. See also the strong differences of identities in Italy between Sicilian ans Venetian by exemple. Once again you confuse nation with ethnicity. Felipeh | babla 18:21, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Why should "French people" have different meaning that "American people".
"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Have you ever read this sentence ? Ericd 17:24, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
I am sorry, Lucius1976, but you are plainly suggesting that we pretend that French history and demographics are not the way they are so that it would fit the categories of the US census. If the other articles are wrong, it is regretable, but I do not think that this is a reason for this article to "comform" to this "standard" -- it might even be a good idea to review the other ones in the light of what is happening here. Rama 16:25, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Well the issue is on french ethnicity. Whenever we find a way of defining it I have the impression that Rama and others just bail out by saying that ethnicity as such doesnt exist anyways. I personally think that most ethnic groups today (Persians, Turks, Greeks, Kabyles whatever...) are 10 times more diverse in their origins than the French. How come they are not trying to deny their existence as an ethnic group? The modern-day Bulgarian ethnic group (which has a page on the French wikipedia) is so diverse that one would not know how to describe it! But they are an ethnic group and they have no problem with it. If the French have a problem it is not because of any particular characteristic of the French people (there isnt any, just another western european people, who's origins are easily summarized in 2 lines) it is just a political sensitivity which is creating all this mess.--Burgas00 16:26, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

There's is basically a logical fallacy in indentyfiyng "French people" with a "French ethnic group". If it's not the case there's no US people. Ericd 16:40, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
I am surprised that there's no "French people" in Italy. Obviouly noone among those who count the Wallons as French has heard of the the Val d'Aoste. Ericd 16:32, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
As I am supposed not to understand very well English can someone explain me the difference between people nation and ethnic groups. Ericd 16:46, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Burgas00 stated "The Bulgarians are an ethnic group" please give sources explaining this. As for my own research I've found this Ericd 16:52, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Interresting to notice that they were Bulgarians at the VI° century at a time were the French and France didn't exist. Ericd 17:31, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Wooo woo woo. This article is awsome ! I didn't think that an article which is supposed to speak about French Poeple would speak such a lot about ethnicity...

Just a note, by the way : In France we don't have the notion of "race". We use this word to speak about dogs, but not about humans. That's an insult according to a french to ask what race he belongs to. Our common race is.. Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

Whatever. I really think there are more interesting topics to develop here before the ethnicity, which is more a US notion than a french one. Aquila4 01:31, 06 April 2007 (UTC)

Is there any rule to ban or block anonymous users that don't care about the NPOV policy ?

Is there any rule to ban or block anonymous users that don't care about the NPOV policy ? Ericd 18:06, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes, for repeated POV violations and/or their edits are obscene, offensive, inappropriate, and considered vandalism. If this continues, please report to any admin on the issue, but tell us who the culprits are and we can block or warn them never do it again. Wikipedia rules prohibit vandalism as much to curtail on nonsense edits. We don't allow profanity, vulgarity and abusive edits, and some of us admins strictly enforced these rules. +Mike D 26 03:57, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

En Français c'est plus simple

Alors voila, c'est simple : Il y a en France une idéologie officielle qui denie l'existence d'une race Française. Cette idéologie est bien entendue une création de la République, régime cosmopolite par essence. Sauf que le mythe d'une ethnie Française à largement été créé par les écoles de la République, vous savez "Nos ancètres les Gaulois". L'extrème-droite de l'époque qu'est-ce qu'elle foutait ? Et bien elle soutenait l'existence d'identitées régionales. Frédéric Mistral qui était plutôt Rébublicain mais qui défendait la langue Provençale s'en est trouvé le cul entre deux chaises accusé par les uns d'être anti-républicain et par les autres d'être vendu à la "Gueuse". Si on cherche des ethnies en France on va en trouver on va même en trouver beaucoup - par exemple les Niçois se considèrent Niçois pas Provençaux -Il y a même un mouvement indépendantiste à Nice (assez folklorique il est vrai)-. Seulement voila on ne trouvera pas l'ethnie Française parce qu'elle n'a jamais existée. Ericd 18:41, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Eric on peut donner les memes genre d'arguments pour toutes les ethnies. Quant aux sources pour les Bulgares, on s'en fout, mais je connais bien ce pays. Je peut te dire que les Bulgares du 7eme siecle était des tribus Turcomongoles de l'Asie. Les memes Bulgares que ceux d'aujourdhui? non. Mais les Bulgares modernes sont une ethnie? oui. Comme les Serbes et les Croates, d'ailleurs.

Mais, selon toi il n'ya jamais eu du nettoyage ethnique aux Balkans, parceque bien sur il n'y a pas des ethnies la bas!!! Comme en France!!!! Et peut etre on peut aussi nier la shoah parce que les juifs sont pas un vrai peuple! ils ont tous des origines differents. Eric je te comprends pas...--Burgas00 19:36, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

L'ensemble des citoyens de la Bulgarie n'est pas une ethnie mais plusieurs. Voir l'article dont j'ai fournit l'URL il semble que la Bulgarie reconnait l'existence d'une cinquantaine d'ethnies en Bulgarie. Pas mal pour un pays pas si grand que ça. Je n'ai jamais nié l'existence d'ethnies en France. Je ne pense pas qu'il y ait d'ethnie Française qui puisse être définie sur une base linguistique, historique ou génétique sérieuse.

Ceci dit le fond du problême n'est pas là cet article est l'exemple même de ce qu'il ne faut pas faire en sciences sociales tout est flou, et on utilise le flou sémantique pour faire passer du n'importe quoi. "French people" ça veut dire quoi ? A mon avis "les Français ?" ou le "peuple français". Le concept de peuple français est bien défini juridiquement et reconnu par d'autre nations, il diffère du concept "d'ethnie Française".

Parlons maintenant du concept de nation j'avoue que celui-ci m'échappe un peu. Un état peut être constitué d'une nation (c'est alors un Etat-Nation) il peut aussi en regrouper plusieurs comme le Royaume-Uni. La nation peut elle se confondre avec l'ethnie oui mais elle peu aussi être constituée de plusieurs ethnies ca ne me choque pas spécialement d'entendre parler nation américaine (ou plutot étasunienne).

Et l'ethnie c'est quoi ?

On peut l'imaginer des bases objectives génétiques, linguistique etc... Franchement si on gratte dans ce sens je crois qu'on va arriver à plusieurs ethnies régionales en France plutôt qu'à une grande ethnie Française qui rassemble une vaste majorité de la population. Ceci dit même si on trouvais une ethnie Française dominante dans la population française elle ne serait pas pour autant plus authentiquement Française que les ethnies minoritaires du peuple français, pas plus que les Normands sont plus Français que les Niçois.

Une autre posibilité c'est d'envisager l'ethnie comme une construction sociale. Alors la ça existe ! Mais ca existe uniquemement parce que ça existe dans l'esprit des gens. S'il y des guerres ethniques c'est qu'il y a des ethnies. S'il y a eu la Shoah c'est parce qu'il y a des Juifs. La preuve qu'il y a une ethnie Croate c'est qu'il se sont entre-massacrés avec les Serbes. La preuve qu'il y a des Juifs c'est que l'oncle Adolf les a assasinés. Voila un argument incontestable ! A l'analyse, c'est à peu près aussi con que de dire que s'il y a des guerres de religions cela prouve qu'il existe plusieurs Dieux. Le problème c'est que des ethnies comme ça on peut en créer tous les jours il suffit d'être suffisament persuasif et de s'appuyer sur quelques tensions sociales. Par exemple on répéte tous les jours que les roux sont différent génétiquement et culturellement des autres Français on fabrique une ethnie dans la tête des gens. A contrario on fabrique une autre ethnie celle des gens qui ne sont pas roux il ne reste plus qu'a proclamer que ces derniers ne sont pas des vrais Français et le tour est joué.

Ouais bon... Euh mais quand même les Arabes ça existe objectivement ? C'est facile il suffit de regarder leur origine. Sans aller jusque qu'a faire remarquer qu'il y a à Tunis une boulangerie qui appartient à un certain Monsieur Müller de nationalité Tunisienne, les Arabes en France c'est surtout des magrébhins est-ce une ethnie homogène ? Bin c'est à dire que il y a au Magrheb des Arabes et des Berbères ou Kabyles. Donc les arabes ou les maghébins c'est une ethnie surtout vu de France. On s'en fout ! on fourre tout dans le même sac et on encule pas les mouches. Pour les Américains c'est pareil les Français c'est les Français on va quant même s'emmmerder à comptabiliser les Normands séparément des Basques...

Ceci dit bon admettons qu'il y ait une ethnie arabe, il y a donc une ethnie française constituée par ceux qui ne sont pas arabes. Tu crois que c'est crédible ? Alors remplace Arabe par Martiniquais (c'est identifiable comme ethnie les Martiniquais non ?), ensuite on continue avec les Corses, les Bretons, les Normands, les Niçois, les Alsaciens les Lorrains etc.... Au bout du compte y reste quoi ? Une ethnie française ? Une ethnie francilienne au mieux.... C'est ça le peuple français ?

Ericd 02:36, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

L'exemple de la Yougoslavie est un bon exemple. Avant la guerre, les principales différences entre Croates, Serbes et Bosniaques étaient la religion (qui n'est pas un critère ethnique), des différences dialectales (mais une même langue, le serbo-croate), et des différences politiques essentiellement basées sur le fait que les Croates étaient plus riches et plus proches des Allemands que les Serbes. Sinon, c'est la même base ethnique. Le conflit yougoslave est un parfait exemple de l'instrumentalisation (je vais pas retracer l'histoire de la Yougoslavie, voir les articles correspondant) d'un concept ethnique fallacieux pour une lutte dont le vrai sens est bassement la conquête du pouvoir par des cliques. A rapprocher de l'histoire des Hutus et des Tutsis dont les colonisateurs ont fait deux ethnies, alors qu'à l'origine il s'agissait d'une part d'éleveurs d'autre part de cultivateurs.
Pour ma part, je préfère les concepts de groupes culturels (au sens ethnologique) ou linguistiques ou de nation, au concept d'ethnie, qui conservera toujours ce relent d'idéologie malsaine porté à son zenith par un certain peintre raté autrichien. Felipeh | babla 19:53, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Autrichiens ? foutaise ! il n'y a jamais eu d'Autrichiens seulement des Allemands ! Ericd 01:05, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Bon cette reponse est un peu injuste de ma part:-) Je comprends les arguments d'Eric. Quandmeme, a mon avis nier l'existence de l'ethnie française n'est pas la solution... Peut etre expliquer comme cette ethnie a agglutiné et absorbé des autres identités existentes dans l'hexagon. Comment cette ethnie a été reconstruite sur la base d'une culture pre exsitente dans les regions de la langued'oeil. C'est comme en Espagne, si la couronne Espagnol avait été plus efficace en imposant une culture castilienne sur tout le territoire de la peninsule, on pourrait parler maintenant d'une ethnie Espagnole/castilienne. En France, le pouvoir central a reussi a imposer cette identité...ce ca qui est important.--Burgas00 19:57, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Voila, notre ami Burgas sait francais. C'est vraiement saisissant qu'un orang-outan parle aussi francais. C'est un bel exemple de l'evolucions des especes.

Mais les autres identités n'ont absolument pas disparu ! Felipeh | babla 20:50, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Näschstes mol babbel ich in mei eichene dialekt. Dann könnt ihr och sehe wo ihr bloibt! --Lucius1976 22:29, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I was saying that allegated "French people" didn't have destroyed other identities of France, such as Occitan people (even if they mostly speak french) in southern France (under the line Bordeaux-Lyon). Felipeh | babla 23:02, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
And before that, I was saying too that the idea of ethnicity was tragically used by some austrian frustrated painter. Felipeh | babla 23:04, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Wanna-be painter. But it rather was the alleged superiority of some ethnicity, rather than ethnicity itself. --Lucius1976 23:46, 20 January 2006 (UTC)


I'm the one who made the modifications. I didn't know that it was a Wikipedia policy violation, so you can put it back as before since I didn't do what was needed (and where can I find the rules?) Anyway, I initially opposed French people to write on this issue because, on Wikipedia English, they should be only critics and advisers, and not redactors. But apparently, one Frenchman could not stop himself to butcher the article so that it suits his own vision. So in French, it's perhaps easier, but you're on Wikipedia English.

That you can split the "Ethnic French" (read Whites, that's why it's a problem) into different ethnic groups doesn't change the fact that these various and indigenous people of France still form today the French people in the common sense for everybody (outside France, it seems). Myself, I'm Flemish (Bovendien ben ik Frans, maar Ik spreek het Nederlands and Ik kan in de streektaal van Westhoek nog babbelen) but I'm an "ethnic French" just as I'm an "Ethnic Flemish" from the Westhoek. This means that an overwhelming part of my ancestors are from territories that are today parts of Metropolitan France. Even though my great grand-mother wasn't able to utter anything in French and my grand-mother learnt French only at age 5, both were technically French on their papers. That's why I don't oppose the people who say they're "Franco-provençal" or "even "Muslim French".

Again, this doesn't mean that people who came recently (read non-Whites, that's why it's a problem) aren't French. You have the French citizenship, which is one thing, and you have the natives, the indigenes, the guys that descend mostly from European hunters-gatherers dwelling in today's France. In Guadeloupe, the natives are the people who descend mostly from victims of slavery, and they're the "Ethnic Antilleans" since all Indians are dead. I agree that a national motto is supposed to stifle all that, but in the real world it is not the case and Wikipedia readers are interested in truth, or at least in all the different opinions.

I propose that now everybody define the different French identities (regional, religious, and ideological) and their effects (folklores, religious problems, ideology of métissage, terrorism in Corsica and Brittany for example) so that we can have a fair balance of informations. Eloge du savoir 20:21, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

"I initially opposed French people to write on this issue because, on Wikipedia English, they should be only critics and advisers, and not redactors."

Thanks, Eloge du savoir. (Sorry, I can't help laughing Coluche would have said "rien que le nom m'amuse").

I think it's an excellent idea I also suggest that no mathematician should contribute to an article about mathemathics.

Ericd 00:38, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

BTW, I like the common sense argument... Braudel, Renan et and even Céline (who denied the existence of a French race despite his anti-semitism) are are liars. The common man with his common sense knows very well what is the truth. What was the common sense of the German around 1940 and what's the common sense of the supporter of Bin Laden ? Ericd 00:47, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

"Communist" Lapaz here! That the CIA world factbook claims that there exist such a thing as "French ethnic" is irrelevant. I trust better Fernand Braudel or even "murderers" Eric Hobsbawm or the inventor of the "communist" concept of imagined communities. Anyway... i rather be qualified as communist than as racist. I know that in English, the term "race" is widely used, especially in the US. But, sorry for those of you who don't believe it, something like the "French race" DOES NOT EXIST. Why don't you go on nazi sites to write those claims? Don't you realize that all French people - who write in Wikipedia English because they know how to speak English and that this Wikipedia is not reserved to the "English race" (sic) - will endlessly revert these stupid changes? Why don't you read some history books instead of quoting the CIA world factbook as if it was the Bible? By the way, don't you think the CIA has done enough mistakes in the past twenty years (do you really want me to write that they created the Talibans and Ben Laden?) BASTA YA !!! Lapaz

Pour information, je ne nie pas que le concept d'"ethnie" existe, ni même qu'il existe peut-être une "ethnie française".

En revanche, je refuse que l'on déblatère à longueur d'article sur une notion qui n'est définie nulle part: "Ethnie" n'a aucune définition, et l'article principale sur la question est très insatisfaisant. Il est vague, inclut sans explication des critères religieux dans la notion d'ethnie alors que la plupart de auteurs excluent spécifiquement ce critère, et ne donne aucune référence. Que l'on identifie des courants de pensée différents, des auteurs importants ayant proposé des notions d'"ethnie" différentes, pas de problème; mais actuellement, on dit en substance "une 'ethnie' est un truc qui rassemble des gens, et qui dépend en gros de la couleur de peau, de la culture, de la langue ou de la religion, ad lib.". Avec une telle définition, on ne peut pas savoir si la notion est objective ou subjective (ce qui est l'un des sujets de débat ici), et ce qui peut ou non être qualifié d'"ethnie" (l'Amicale de la Fanfare des Chemins de Fer du Val-de-Travers est-elle une ethnie ? Oui ? Non ? Pourquoi ?).

Je refuse également que l'on essaye de nous faire avaler une prétendue "ethnie" de gens qui parlent le français et qui seraient, euh, blancs. Outre le fait que c'est un délire racialiste d'extrème-droite, cela ne correspond simpleemnt pas à la réalité du terrain. Les caractéristiques physiques et les coutumes changent considérablement entr la Bretagne, le pays Basque, Marseille et Strasbourg; pourquoi aurions-nous là une même ethnie ? De plus, si vous voulez faire sortir des Suisse-Romands ou des Belges de leurs gonds (et pourtant ce sont là des "ethnies" plutôt placides...), allez leur raconter qu'ils sont français ! Or, j'ai bien cru comprendre que l'un des critères pour l'"ethnie" était que l'on s'identifiait au groupe en question... (entendons-nous bien, je trouve que ce critère est complètement stupide, mais je me réserve le droit de le renvoyer à la face des gens qui le brandissent).

Les question "etniques" sont des question très sensibles (politiquement et pour des questions de sensibilité, entre autres); ce sont surtout des questions scientifiquement très complexes, et dont franchement je pense qu'elles nous dépassent de beaucoup (Notez que je n'affirme rien moi-même sur le sujet, si ce n'est que les délires à la "y'a une ethnie française qui coïncide avec les frontières actuelles et qui porte un bérêt basque" devraient rester dans un placard). Mon intuition est que si "ethni française" il y a, elle correspond probablement plus à quelque chose de france-îlien qu'à quelque chose qui recouvrirait le territoire métropolitain de la République.

Je suggère dons (pour la Xème fois...) que

  • l'on se méfie des clichés et des idées naïves centrées sur la mentalité d'un pays (typiquement les USA et le Canada) et d'un époque (le XXe XXIe siècle)
  • que l'on cherche des sources scientifiques sérieuses (publications scietifiques, études sociologiques et démographiques) sur le sujet plutot que d'aligner des lieux communs Rama 13:39, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

The French citizenship and identity page

What do u guys think about this page? I voted that we should keep it since alot of very interesting issues can be "abordés" (sorry, hangover) here... Deleting it would be a mistake since we can always merge it into the French people page later, once a consensus is established. It could include French identity in Corsica, the basque country th DOM TOMs etc....--Burgas00 12:05, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Also the article had much info. on French descendants of South America had left a legacy of surnames in political and economic elites. True, but someone left a long list of surnames appears redundant. French expatriates and their families settled in Mexico, Cuba and Central America, one of them was Jean Rene Champion, a member of the Free French forces and was alleged as the first officer to enter the city of Paris to help liberate the citizens in August 1944. I wonder any direct French descendant like myself by the fact my father is born and lived there, but resided in the U.S. for 38 years and a naturalized citizen. I may qualify for, but don't carry dual nationality, so I have to get proof in the French embassy or their customs office (but don't plan to). Americans and Canadians (English or French) who live in France aren't treated as the "Francaises du Souche", other than anyone born or lived (but stayed) in metropolitian France. By national law, any French-born Algerian, Lebanese, Senegalese, Tahitian, Pondicherry Indian and French Guianan is a bonafide citizen, regardless of race or color of these people. Note the French Swiss and Belgians, if not born or hold citizenship in France, aren't completely French by legality, unless they became one. But a Frenchman/woman of Italian, Greek, Polish, German, Russian and Portuguese parentage, born on French soil or eligible for French citizenship, is a French person in law. + Mike D 26 03:16, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

The issue of New Caledonia

New Caledonia, one of France's numerous colonies which they have mantained with their now famous excuse of "we are all French citizens" is an example of what im talking about. According to Lapaz, Rama and others the French people are the French citizens... Well how about French citizens who dont want to be French, hate the French who come from the other side of the world to take over their island and dont speak French (unless they were forced to learn it)? Are these Melanesians French? Why were the Noumea accords necesarry if ethnic Caledonians dont exist? They are just French citizens, right?? Im surprised no one has brought this up actually...--Burgas00 11:59, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

There are also communities of "French From Europe" in the French West Indies.
-A few thousands in Saint-Barths (French West Indies) (a virtually all-White island).
-The few thousands Whites permanently living in La Guadeloupe and La Martinique are called "les Békés" which is said to be a contraction of "White of the quay" (Blanc du quai). They are distinguished from the "métros" (French from France) and from the small Jewish and Syro-Libanese communities (even though all are technically French like the Antillean population).
-There are also a few thousands "French from Europe" in Saint-Martin (St-Marteens). Eloge du savoir 18:18, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Their "ethnicity", if I am correct (and I am not certain that I am) is "canaque". Their nationality is "French", not according to "Lapaz, Rama and others the French people", but to their papers.
I do not see your point in raising this, though, I would say that this goes rather in my direction: French nationality does not match any "ethnic" reality, and "ethnic French" means nothing, because the same situation (all political considerations apart) that you see in New Caledonia also happens in every part of France. Rama 13:44, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Not so close. Because there won't be a poll for independence in other parts of France. Don't forget than Polynesians also have a special kind of citizenship aside the French one.Eloge du savoir 18:56, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Excellent points made by Burgas! I am aware of the policy on original research, but still, here is my input: I actually wrote my thesis on the issue of local identities and the new local "citizenship" in NC after having conducted a bit of field work down there. My impressions/"findings" were that even among the métros (or among long term residents, at least) some stated that their identity, ethnicity and sense of belonging was not with the "French people" or the country of France even though they where born and/or raised there. Many referred to their ethnic appartenance as [Néo-]Calédonienne (or sometimes less formally as Caldoche), and felt that this was either a subset within the French people or else a separate ethnicity with French roots (similar to the Cajun people). Clearly, only a minority of the people holding French citizenship in NC would self-identify as Frenchmen, or at least not as being primarily of French ethnicity, regardless of their genealogical background.

I think there is a similar notion about what it means to be Turkish. The official view formerly propagated in Turkish schoolbooks, massmedia and works of art was that there was no such thing as an ethnic Turk, because a Turk is defined as a citizen of Turkey. The preceding Ottoman definition was that a Turk was a Muslim. Whether the Turkish Cypriots would be regarded as ethnic Turks by the Republic of Turkey, I don't know. Cf stateless people (or perhaps a "people-less" state?).

I guess what the French state is trying to say is that there are only ethnic minorities, but the rest have no ethnicity, only their passports. ;J

The thing is that the concept of peoplehood is a dynamic and sometimes multilayered one, because some peoples merge into other peoples or split off to form new ones. See also Benedict Anderson, Nationalism and Nation-building. Even if one feels that ethnicity doesn't really matter, one does need to realize that it exists. Even in France and Turkey. //Big Adamsky 14:18, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

What you say is interesting, but not for this article. Contrarily to what you seem to believe, no-one denies the denies that ethnicity "somehow" exists (even if the term is left to be properly defined). No-one denies that a canaque identity exists. We only say that the metropolitan French identity has nothing to do with ethnicity, and that a "French ethnicity" does not exist. Rama 14:36, 21 January 2006 (UTC)


In France we have French Citizens. In Nouvelle Caledonie 100% of the population are (for now) French citizens. The population is divided (excluding other minorities) into the CALDOCHES who are ETHNIC FRENCH and the KANAKS who are ETHNIC MELANESIANS. The majority of Kanaks do not feel French and do not want to be French. Remember Karembeu ? Criticised in France for not singing "La Marseillaise", on the field... Two of his uncles had been exhibited in a human zoo during the Paris Colonial Exposition of 1931. Why dont you ask them to feel French, Rama? Your arguments smack of imperialism and chauvinism...--Burgas00 15:47, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Adamsky thanks for your imput. I would like to point out that it is understandable that the Caldoche feel "New Caledonian". This is the normal reaction of all colonists as a way of mentally appropriating the land they have moved into. The Boers felt African during apartheid and so did the French Pied Noirs in Algeria. But they did not mix with the "natives" and were a distinct ethnicity of foreign origin...--Burgas00 15:53, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Burgas00, you are insulting, rude, and you take absolutely no account of what I write. I do not know why I should waste my time writing to you, but I will give it a last attempt:
  • yes, the indeginous people in French Caledonia have their own "ethnicity" (I put this between quotation marks because we still have no proper definition of "ethnicity; however, whatever this definition, it is probable that at least one specific "ethnicity" will be found for the natives of New Caledonia).
  • There are other people who came all over from France. These people are not "ethnic French", because the term "ethnic French" means NOTHING. One so-called "ethnic French" might come from Alsace, another from Britany, another from the Basque country; why assume the same ethnicity for these two ? They are only assimilated in YOUR mind either because you want to make a point, or because you have an improper knowledge of France. In the first case you have nothing to do here; in the second, you should devote more time to reading and less to writing. In either case, calling me "imperialist and chauvinist" is not only totally unappropriate and insulting, but also unfair. But I do not know whether you care for such things, you are too busy teaching French people what they really are, right ? Rama 20:51, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

You are right Rama I am being unfair, and I did purposely hit a sensitive nerve. Please excuse me. But then again, we are all a bit psicotic in this debate. I dont think normal people have such an obsessional need to be proven right, on such inconsequential issues...

-)--Burgas00 00
11, 22 January 2006 (UTC)


Please use colons (:) to indent replies. I suggest that we use here the « threaded tree format, like that often seen in email clients ». That way, only the first message in a section should be at the left margin. All replies to that message should have one colon (:), all replies to a reply should have two colons (::), all replies to a reply to a reply should have three (:::) and so on.--Teofilo talk 16:55, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Neutrality dispute (new section)

I open a new section, asking people to respect in this new section the indentation guidelines I wrote above.

Lucius, you wrote : « The whole article is about French people as ethnicity ». How can you write an article about French ethnicity without infringing the Wikipedia:No original research policy ? --Teofilo talk 17:07, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Ile de France and Loire river

People should understand than if French ethnicity does exist in metropolitan France, it is only the people who came from the area approximatively between Ile de France and Loire river. (and the other things are nation or linguistic group). Felipeh | babla 17:13, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Felipe: "An ethnic group is a culture or subculture whose members are readily distinguishable by outsiders based on traits originating from a common racial, national, linguistic, or religious source. Members of an ethnic group are often presumed to be culturally or genetically similar, although this is not in fact necessarily the case." (From wikipedia)--Cassius80 17:30, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
So what? Culture of this area is distinguishable of cultures of Britanny, Occitania, Chti country, etc. Brazilian have the same religion, same language, same nationality, but it isn't an ethny. And there nevere have been a racial unity in France. And this definition is quite contradictory, at least it is very obscure. Felipeh | babla 17:54, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Never been any racial unity in France? tell me which people in France, apart from the basques who are a separate ethnic group, are not a mix of celtic, germanic, and latin peoples? Not that it matters... I dont think Chti or Picardie can seriously be taken as an ethnic group...

-- 18:23, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

"Racial" ? Whoooo... There is racial unity in France: all French are, to the best of my knowledge, of the race Homo Sapiens, and not of the race Homo Neanderthalensis, which has been extinct for millenia. The problem is that of ethnicity. As for it, the above definition means absolutely nothing. It gives no criteria to distinguish ethnicity from other groups of people; the definition given above could match, say, a club of philatelia; it uses improper terms ("racial"); and it contradicts the usual exclusion of religion to define ethnicity. Once agin, most of what we have on the questions of ethnicity is highly insufficient. Rama 20:58, 21 January 2006 (UTC)


Here are an area of people (Occitania) who are part of french nation but never part of a french ethny. Largely most influenced by/mixed with Meditterranean people and Iberic peninsula. Unique culture, language, history, political structures until centralisation, etc. Felipeh | babla 20:41, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Correct. It is the same in Nord-Pas-de-Calais (actually it's the French Netherlands). On the other hand, Gauls also weren't an united ethnic group, yet today they are considered an ethnic group (a Gaul nation never existed).Eloge du savoir 21:48, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Nation, ethnic group zap-zap... Semantic fuzzyness. It's true they never formed an united state, but why should an ethnic group be united ? Ericd 22:51, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Burgas, you're confusing two things: subjectivity and objectivity. When the US Census ask people to define themselves (why not?), they are asking people POV. That's subjective. Hence, going to extremes, people could claim they're from Jupiter. This is not uninteresting, because that's how people characterize themselves. That's what you're refering to about the Kanaks. It could be compared (in a non pejorative manner) to ideology. Now, when we are saying that French is a nationality, that is because having a passport is something objective. You have it or you don't have it. And you're French only if you have a French passport (i know, you don't agree with this... anyway...). Kanaks may say: i don't give a shit about France (and, you know, i've said this quite a few times...), they're still French. Because being French is being a citizen of France. I don't think the debate is going to go much further, as Rama has pointed out. However, if you're honest, with claims of anti-discrimination and things, you should believe that they're is nothing more racist than creating a mythical "French ethnic" group. This is what the French Republic did during the colonial times, this is what the FN is doing now (the Nouvelle Droite has abandonned this stupid nationalism, now it claims there is a "European ethnic" group...). This has been criticized by a ton of mainstream historians, of which we already gave references (now, if you're really interested by the subject, maybe you'll take some time off to read them --). Finally, why should we care about this stupid edit war? You well know why: because maybe we don't want to be so badly misrepresented, and we're not going to play this "clash of civilization" game... Last, but not least, I find it quite interesting how you reverse antiracist arguments, claiming that we are supporting ethnic discrimination by refusing the term of "ethnic French". This is common rhetoric used by racist discourse (see Pierre-André Taguieff for a discussion on the subject). I suppose that most people here, until now, have assumed your good faith. I don't anymore, and you'll need some hard proof to make me believe me wrong. Sorry... Lapaz
Lapaz and Rama: We have opposite positions even though I suspect our political leniences and values are very similar. I have joined this debate in good faith despite the fact that it has become quite heated. I do not wish to use rhetoric which is offensive or destructive.
It is true I wanted to make a political point. And so did you. This is very normal. The thing is that I shared and agreed with pretty much everything you said. The only difference between us is that we have different opinions on a very precise issue.
I agree that French ethnicity is subjective. For me all ethnicities are subjective. Do you know any Indians or Pakistanis? I have lived with people from both these countries and they are exactly the same people, despite the official discourse of their governments and their own opinions.
As I said, we both have political reasons for being part of this debate.
For both u guys, denying French ethnicity is important because otherwise we would be reinforcing the racist discourse of extreme right parties. I have lived and worked in France and in the UK, have many other immigrant friends in both countries aswell as friends who have lived in the US and Canada. (I have never been there myself). The general consensus among all of us is that France is the hardest country to integrate into. In order to become french you need more than work papers… That is the problem for me…you guys confuse citizenship with ethnicity… If we are to live in France we don’t have to become citizens, we actually have to become “ethnic French”. Speak like the French, act like the French, think like the French… You don’t realize of course because you are French, but we will never be as French as you want us to be. Look at those kids of the 93. Second and third generation and still not French enough!
That is why denying French ethnicity makes me laugh. If we were talking about Canada I would be more prone to agree with you. There are members of parliament in that country who don’t even speak proper English or French… In the UK it’s the same, as long as you work hard they don’t care where your from.
My point is that there is more to the “French people” than citizenship and that, in the 21st, the French are going to have to realize this instead of forcing people into an “ethnic mould” which only leads to frustration and exclusion.
I hope I have explained myself correctly.--Burgas00 13:43, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, but I do not recognise myself in what you write. "ethnic" politics do not interest me, and whether are not something is in agreement with the discourse of the FN leaves me quite indifferent.
I am reserved with using the term "ethnicity" because it has nowhere been appropriately defined, and that I cannot endorse discourses which are built on shaky foundations.
Furthermore, I have a very strong intuition that "French ethnicity" would either mean a very narrow ethnicity somewhere near the Ile de France and the Loire, or perhaps even nothing at all.
Now, you might want to decide that "ethnicity" is not only subjective from the point of view of these "ethnic people", but also from the point of view of the speaker; this would justify the notion of a "French ethnicity" defined by people from the USA and Quebec, but not by the French (to repeat something which has been said on this very page: that French people should not be allowed to write on this article). Unfortunately, I have never ever seen anything of the sort in serious publications which deal with ethnicity. Ethnicity is always seen as an observable which can be described in an objective manner.
Futhermore, the notion of an “ethnic mould” is quite typical of the clichés and stereotypes of foreigners who are interested enough in France to begin to have an idea of the society, but not enough to go all the way and understand the mentality; this is a familiar vision since the riots of 2005, so I am no surprised. But this is quite beside the point.
In opposition to your confession to trying to make a political point, I am not, and have never been, trying to make a political point. I am just trying to save us from the ridicule of describing as a "French ethnicity" something which is about as accurate, free from clichés and stereotypes, and which, frankly looks like, the tribe of Astérix. Rama 20:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
All right Burgas. You're right that we all want to make political points, as it is a political subject, and the one i like the least is certainly not yours, but - i'm not naming just for the sake of it, but that will allow us to see where we stand - more EpF's POV(from whom it appears difficult to even think of reaching a consensus someday). What you just say is certainly true, in a way; and this is the classic opposition between assimilationist (or "melting-pot") and multiculturalism (or "salad bowl"). Funny enough: I'm usually a supporter of this last view, when I'm arguing with classic French assimilationist POV (for example, I'm more in favor of affirmative action than against it; however, it probably could be implemented in another way than just on the basis of "ethnic subjective views" - see for example Sciences Po's tentative, which has to be widened - they're taking people on the basis of where they study, not "who" they are).
But, can we agree that this opposition, certainly interesting and heuristic, must not be absolutized. French detractors of multiculturalism often claims this is simple communautarisme, a claim which I believe extreme. However, the reverse is true, and in my opinion, there's not much to boast either about a country where we just care "if you work hard enough", and where different communities can just live side by side (basic of US's former segregation). Neither "French hypocrisy" nor "Anglo-Saxon 'realism'" is something to boast about... Shouldn't we simply try to think beyond this simple dualism? Finally, you're right even if you don't say it correctly: you don't need to have only "work papers" to become French; you need French citizenship; but if you manage to obtain French citizenship - which is hardly easy, as for a foreigner it means at least living 10 years in France as a immigrant with work papers - then you will be considered French ("ethnic French" in your words) by all but racists. Can i put it in a paradoxal way (using your words): if French citizenship is identical to "ethnic French", than the "French ethnic" is composed, de jure, of all possible ethnic groups in the planet - and, why not, in the universe... (this is not simple joke). You are right in pointing out a difference between the de jure reality and the hard de facto reality. Since some have qualified me here as a communist, may I point out that this is exactly Marx's critique of the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, qualified as the "egoist rights of the bourgeois class"? But, trust me, one must never confuse de jure reality and de facto reality, which intertwine themselves. Denying it is plain realPolitik cynism; philosophy, as a specific discipline, is based on this distinction (Kant's transcendantal, etc.) Henceforth, de jure, "French ethnic is composed by whoever has French citizenship, and thus virtually encompasses all ethnic groups in the planet". Lapaz

Ok Lapaz I give up and decide to agree with you. Its true that the anglosaxon (I guess fundamentally American) wikipedia is obsessive about ethnicity and race in a way which we find repulsive (or at least strange) in Europe. But they do come from a very racialized society in which these things are important to them... Look at the page on the Italian people: there is a whole section on whether they are fair or dark skinned! Or the page on Spanish people trying to determine the ammount of arab blood in spaniards through genetic studies!! I guess the French are right to stand up to this nonsense even on the english wikipedia. But I hope you have understood what I was trying to say anyways...--Burgas00 23:27, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

and i agree that perhaps there should be a middle point between communautarisme and French assimilationism... Assimilationism at least promotes a national ideology which gives a sense of belonging to all its citizens. --Burgas00 13:10, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

  • The fact remains that there are people in France and around the world who can trace their origins to the indigenous peoples of France in ethno-cultural terms. The example of Occitania just goes to prove the verying movements for independence of native ethnic groups in France whether they be Occitans, Corsicans, Basques or Bretons. One simple thing is missing here, what about the langue d'oil people as evidenced on the "language map" in the article ? Oh, never mind them, they are only the creators of: French culture, identity, language, and the French nation. Those are the native ethnic French and although French also means anybody who can get a French citizenship (therefore can be a person with origins of any ethno-cultural group in the world) it doesn't mean the indigenous ethnic French don't exist (albeit in the nation's current government in policy). Occitans are quite distinct from the langue d'oil peoples but are also quite similar especially in terms of their history/origins. Whether they are considered "français de souche" or a separate group like the Bretons, Basques, Corsicans, etc. is disputed by various groups. Epf 20:38, 22 January 2006 (UTC)


After thinking much about it, this is the definition I propose to write at the beginning of the article, and then articulate the article around that definition.

French people are the people living in France (including overseas départements and territories) who regard themselves as French, whether or not they hold French citizenship. Are also included those French nationals living outside of France who still regard themselves as French.

I think this definition is inclusive of immigrants without French citizenship but who regard themselves as French. On the other hand it does not include temporary foreign residents as well as French nationals who do not regard themselves as French (some second generation beurs in the suburbs or some Kanak of New Caledonia may not regard themselves as "French", even though they are French natinonals). Also it does not include French nationals living abroad but who do not regard themselves as part of the French people anymore (case of people who have lived most of their life outside of France).

The definition is both objective (living on French soil and/or having French citizenship) and subjective (regarding oneself as French).

I will not write this in the article before (neutral) Wikipedians comment this definition first, as I don't want yet another outbreak of "reverticitis". Hardouin 13:18, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Again, this leaves us with the problem of defining what "French" is. THe Ministry of the Interior will certainly be interested to learn that defining oneself as French is enough to "make you French". Rama 20:03, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Hardouin, we cannot create our own definition of what French means. All we can do is report the various definitions serious scholars use in their researches. Otherwise we would infringe the Wikipedia:No original research policy.--Teofilo talk 22:58, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I've recently noticed how similar this page is to that on Arabs. The term "Arab" can mean speakers of the language, a citizen/national of an Arab state, various ethnic groups who have been "Arabized" or it can refer to the ethnic/genealogical term of those "true Arabs" in Saudia Arabia, Yemen and Oman and their descendants around the middle east. With that said, "French" also seems to mean citizens/nationals of France, French-speakers, ethnic groups/peoples in France and elsehere who have been largely "Frankified" (for lack of a better term) or the ethnic/genealogical term of the "français de souche" or the native langue d'oil/langue d'oc peoples in France and their descendants in other countries. Therefore, in accordance with the current article, I think this page could follow a similar pattern to that of Malays and Arabs which are also largely heterogenous groups that compose both the original native people as well as several other ethnic groups. Epf 00:03, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
French speakers are francophones. Ericd 00:17, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
It is important to stress the difference between Switzerland French speakers, who inherit a history of wars fought against France (the Battle of Marignano in 1515), and Canada French speakers whose ancestors lived in France and may still consider themselves as French, while English speaking Canadians are sometimes regarded by them as English. --Teofilo talk 03:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Teofilo, if offering a definition is "personal research", then pretty much most ethnic articles are personal research, and let's delete them all then. I think on this controversial issue it would be more sensible to agree on a definition and stick to it, rather than arguing for the weeks and months to come. After all, the definition of "Arab" reported by Epf above is also probably "personal research". The work of an encylopedia is not just to report a hotchpotch of facts, it is also to make sense of them. That's exactly what the authors of L'Encyclopédie did when they defined important religious and philosophical concepts in the 18th century. If they had been Wikipedians they would probably have been accused of "personal reasearch" as things go. Hardouin 01:37, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
I think we should only review the definitions used by scholars and pick up the definition most widely used by scholars. Is there an article in the Encyclopaedia Universalis dealing on "French people"? Is there one in Encyclopedia Britannica? Is there a "Que-sais-je?" on "Les Français"? And what definitions do their authors use? --Teofilo talk 03:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
A few books that could be interesting : Alain Vivien « Les Français de l'étranger » Que sais-je? PUF 1997, Jacqueline Lindenfeld « The French in the United States : An Ethnographic Study » Westport, Conn. : Bergin & Garvey, 2000.Review (1)review (2)(pdf file), Jocelyne Moreau-Zanelli, Gallipolis, Histoire d’un mirage américain au XVIIIe siècle, Paris, L'Harmattan, 2000 review (1) (pdf file)Review (2) (pdf file), Nicole Fouché, « Emigration alsacienne aux États-Unis, 1815-1870 », Paris, Publications de la Sorbonne, 1992 ; Camille Maire, « L’émigration des Lorrains en Amérique, 1815-1870 », Metz, 1980 and « En route pour l’Amérique : l’odyssée d’émigrants de France au XIXe siècle », Nancy, Presses Universitaires de Nancy, 1993 ; Ronald Creagh, « Nos cousins d’Amérique : Histoire des Français aux États-Unis », Paris, Payot, 1988.--Teofilo talk 03:55, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
An improved Social structure of France article, counterpart of Social structure of the United States is needed if we want to provide to the Wikipedia reader a deep understanding of who French people are.--Teofilo talk 03:32, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Agreed for now, its good to see that at least some consensus has been reached. Epf 20:32, 29 January 2006 (UTC)


Edit wars having died down, a definition of the French people which pleases everyone seems to have been found. Are we all happy?-- 11:24, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Rama: the reason we write les français is not out of ignorance or stupidity or because we dont know the French language. It simply looks better and is a way of distinguishing the french people from the french language and to make sure the word is understood as being plural... Think about it... Français without the article doesnt mean anything.I cant believe I have to explain this to a Frenchman...Maybe your native tongue is Picard or Gascon?;-)--Cassius80 22:23, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

As a suggestion why doesn't someone create a "français de souche" article as well? Its a concept that clearly exists in everyday French discourse and maybe it could help diffuse some of the confusion that the whole Ethnic French Don't Exist/Ethnic French Do Exist situation is creating for Wikipedia readers.

That's the worse suggestion that could be made. Write such an article to then prove that it doesn't exist? Lapaz

That new picture is wrong, Chédid is born in Egypt and is 100% Lebanese origin. I dont think Doc Gyneco has any French (as in Gaulois) origins... ;-) Btw, in my opinion, this page (made by French people I presume)talks too obsessively about immigration and "métissage". Does this not bely some unconfessed trauma related to foreigners among the French? Or maybe guilt related to a terrible and recent colonial past? --Farouk yalla 20:20, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Sorry for Chedid, I will amend the picture later. The first name of his grandmother (Andrée) misled me. You can remove it for the moment if need be.
Doc Gynéco is a typical mulatto, so he fits.
Otherwise, if such trauma exists (it does), it has to be written. I think the colonial past could be mentioned in the new sections I created. The consequences of the colonial epoch on the identity will be related later in "Ethnic claims". On the other hand, it's not an article about the French colonies. Eloge du savoir 20:35, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Before victoriously stating "Consensus found", and before unwelcomed changes, don't forget to read the above remarks and the debate about this "trauma" (Eloge du savoir, i certainly agree with you that they are memory and historical issues about it, but be careful about not excluding any ethnic groups whatsoever from the French people, as the French people is not defined by its (various) ethnic ascendencies, but by citizenship). Cheers! Lapaz
  • I think the section with bullets may need to be re-written as when the term "Celtic and Latin, with Teutonic" is used, it doesnt include Bretons or Basques (they are listed as minorities) but includes langue d'oil peoples and possibly the langue d'oc peoples as well. The one sentence about simply defining them as "white" is incorrect as well since this term can refer to all native peoples from Eurasia and there is physical difference between French and other "white" peoples. Epf 03:35, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Epf: Well, after all we shouldnt be too picky with the bullet points. They are only summarizing the arguments against the "teutonic, latin etc.." definition. And it is true that this part seems to have created some consensus. If we start changing it we are in for a mess. In any case, the sentence says "white, western european and indigenous to the geographical region". Plus the last bullet point suggests (as a defence of the definition) that basques are considered a minority to blur the difference between immigrant French and "de souche" French.--Burgas00 14:13, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Well I haven't read "the whole enchillada" but France is only stating "France doesn't make any difference between races or religions.". That's the official POV. They may exists but we don't care... I am very French in that sense, and believe that's the only way to go. Ericd 18:49, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Map of linguistic groups

In my opinion this map should be erased. Firstly because it is HUGE (i wouldnt mind a small version) and secondly because it gives a false image of France. It makes people who do not know the country think that if they go to Lyon peole will be speaking a strange language called Lyonnais or thant in Bordeaux people speak Gascon rather than French. Who speaks forezien and Berrichon? The truth is that in France pretty much everyone is a native speaker of French and the few regional languages which remain are in rapid decline. Perhaps the only ones which will survive will be Catalan and Basque due to support from the other side of the border.--Cassius80 15:48, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

"Firstly because it is HUGE" ... You never tried something like [[image.jpg|thumb|blablabla]], did you ? Besides, this map is obviously a map about the history of languages. If it is not obvious enough, make it so. Rama 16:09, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
True, there's a common universal French language, but the corners of that country have preserved their mother tongues. My father's home town,St. Omer located in the historic Flanders region or politically, the departments of Nord and Pas-de-Calais, has a small Flemish speaking minority, but a culturally French city without a doubt. He told me some of his family are Flemings or Dutch-Belgians for hundreds of years and the two ethnic groups shared the region, their families married each other, and lived under shifting boundaries decided by wars or kings. But the Flemings in the edge of Flanders next to the French province of Artois integrated into France, after the region with St. Omer was permanently annexed in the 1650s. Flemish-speakers had declined in the past century and today, only a fraction of residents living within 30 miles from the Belgium border can be heard speaking the language. None are said monolingual while they speak French most of the time, because French was necessary, taught at schools aside with Flemish, required in government functions, and the "lingua franca" of the republic. + Mike D 26 03:24, 25 October 2006 (UTC)


"France does not recognize ethnic minorities present within its territory nor does it offer them collective rights."

is tendentious because it suggests that France should do so. France grants all citizens the same rights, accordingly to the declarations of the Human Rights. I also would appreciate if it was possible to point this out without being called a "French extreme nationalist". Thank you very much in advance. Rama 16:16, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Today we have decided to celebrate the abolition of slavery, it's a good new IMO.
France is often criticized for not recognizing minorities, and thus not offering them collective rights. I think it's true and should be sourced. But I don't think this the word ethnic is necessary. There is a strong tendency in France to believe that because the majority has the power, this power has no limits. (Ask Nicolas S.... his views about Montesquieu.) Ericd 20:27, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
well I erased my own edit myself since Rama found it offensive. Perhaps we should re insert it in a way which is not tendentious. In my humble opinion, starting the article by saying that the definition of French people are "all those citizens of the French state since France does not make distinctions bla bla bla is very tendentious..." Not even the Turks do that on their page! And they are generally considered way more nationalist and intransigent than the French! Even they accept that there are Kurds in Turkey. Why cant the French accept there are ethnic minorities in France? All German citizens are considered German according to the law! The same applies for every single country in the EU, and (in my opinion) outside the EU. Its not like the French are the only country which does not have an apartheid system. In america, for example, ethnic minorities are recognized, but every one is still American... That is what I mean by collective rights. Another example: in Spain, every one is Spanish and have the same rights, but the collective rights of ethnic minorities are respected.--Cassius80 23:45, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Cassius, please do not refer to America as an "example" because the situation is very different from France - i'm suspending my own judgment here. Your example about the Turkish is better, because both are Republican countries with a long tradition of centralism. However, do not take the wikipedia page as a reference: wikipedia can't be used as a reference by itself (as in manuel of style, whatever). Being myself a French citizen, I accept the presence of "ethnic minorities" in France, and I accept (and criticize) the fact that there is social and racial discrimination. But, before racial discrimination, there is social discrimination. A Black whom managed to get wealthy is always, in all countries (US, Brazil, France...) more easily considered as a White man than as a Black man. Because being Black is being part of a minority: if one manage to get out of this minority and be part of the dominant majority, then one lose his status as a Black man. Henceforth, the French accent on social discriminations, which abstain on any judgement of ethnic & religion issues. Think of it has a neutral point of view, which suspends any reference to ethnic & religious issues. Of course, nobody in his sane mind is going to refuse the fact that they are things such as religion (ethnic is already a bit more difficult, as we first have to agree on its definition).
Now, all of this does not change a single bit to the definition of the French people as anyone who has French citizenship, regardless of his ethnic or/and religious appartenances. Some Wikipedians here are trying to enforce the idea that there exist an "original French people", which would have been there since centuries, created of a blend of blablabla, prior to the existence of the French nation. This is, simply put, logical non-sense and revisionist history. It is a (racist) nationalist claim, which pretends that the French people precede the French nation. Beside Benedict Anderson's argumentation about Imagined communities and Eric Hobsbawm demonstration that nationalism is a creation of the nation (thus, this claim of an original French people is itself a creation of the French Republic - ... ), the French Republic gives no sense to this claim, since French is a nationality, not an ethnics. There is no "French indigenous" people. See just below. Lapaz

A "French indigenous" people is nonsense

There is no "French indigenous" people. As there is no "ethnic French". As there is no "Français de souche" (a term which is the simple consequence of the lepénisation des esprits). I would simply like, against Wikipedia's rules, to refer to the Wikipedia's definition of "indigenous":

Drawing on these, a contemporary working definition of "indigenous peoples" has criteria which would seek to include cultural groups (and their descendants) who have an historical continuity or association with a given region, or parts of a region, and who formerly or currently inhabit the region either:
before its subsequent colonization or annexation; or

alongside other cultural groups during the formation of a nation-state; or independently or largely isolated from the influence of the claimed governance by a nation-state, and who furthermore

have maintained at least in part their distinct linguistic, cultural and social / organizational characteristics, and in doing so remain differentiated in some degree from the surrounding populations and dominant culture of the nation-state.
To the above, a criterion is usually added to also include:
peoples who are self-identified as indigenous, and those recognised as such by other groups.

Thus, according to this definition, it could be argued that Brittons, Corses and Basques are an "indigenous" people. In no way could the "French indigenous" expression be used, as France has never been colonized (except during Vichy occupation), French is the cultural group which has been created by the French nation-state, which didn't exist before the 19th century in this modern form (same goes for nationalism, which took its modern form with the Dreyfus Affair - nationalism is not to be mistaken with simple chauvinism or xenophobia). French of course do not recognize themselves as indigenous. And of course they are not differentiated in some degree from the surrounding (French) populations. However, this is a very good definition for the Gauls village in Astérix. I am therefore removing any reference to a French indigenous people, as references to French ethnic peoples have been rm before. Regards. Lapaz

Lapaz, your point of view is clear and I sincerely believe you did not understand the section you were changing when you made the edits. The section explains all the points of view (which have been expressed by Rama and yourself) against the US department definition. What you have deleted only stated that it is racist to consider the French people to be restricted to those who are white, have french surnames and generally trace their ancestry to France. How can one criticize a position without defining what one is critizing? After your edit, the summary became nonsensical! How can one say that the French are NOT only those indigenous to the region, without using the words "indigenous to the region"? There are people who are indigenous to the region. It dosent matter. Its ok and no one should find it offensive! But if you start editing everything out, out of principle, the section (which is simply saying what you, and others, are saying) is not going to make sense. Do you see whay I mean? I hope everyone agrees with me!:-)--Farouk yalla 20:23, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes I have just re-read ur edit and you definitely did not understand. Read the whole section I am sure you will find it ok.--Farouk yalla 20:27, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

I think that generally, an early explanation (that is quite high in the text of the article) about the French view of the world might be necessary. The French Republic was founded on the idea of liberty and equality, and on the idea of a "French Republic, one and indivisible"; it is not surprising that the federalist idea of several "ethnics" all coexisting within the nation is utterly alien to the French spirit. Furthermore, all failures to implement this model (slavery, nobility, antisemitism, the Vichy State, the Indochina and Algeria War...) have turned into rather traumatic Dark Days in the collective memory of France (as underlined by the recent statements of Chirac about the "Slavery rememberance day"). I think that a (understandable) failure to grasp this explains most of the ideas about "France refuses to grant specific rights to its minorities", and other things which might make some sense in some countries, but make absolutely none in others. Rama 21:44, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Yeah, so basically, just leave it as it is because obviously there are those who speak of the indigenous French and their descendants elsewhere as well as those who speak of the official French Republican view of the non-existence of ethnicities within its borders (even if to the detriment of both foreign and native cultures, peoples and languages). Lets try and maintain some stability with the current form of this article. 10:29, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
The "official French Republican view", as you put it, is not to deny the existence of ethnicities within its borders. If this is what you have understood of the problem, I suggest you stop editing this article and devote more time to study the question. Rama 11:47, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Well it may not exactly say anywhere to "deny the existence of ethnicities within its borders", but current French assimlationist ideology certainly has that effect. Languages such as Breton, Corsican, etc. have no official status whatsoever compared to minority languages in other nations. Also, there are separatist movements with several indigenous French groups (some violent as in Corsica) obviously in response to the current French Republican policy. I suggest you not be so quick to judge people as my edits are founded and I have studied this question in detail. 22:20, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
You can't use the expression "French indigenous people" because it is nonsense, period. Look at the definition of indigenous people, for God's sake!!! The comment by anonymous user that "USA is hardly "communitarian" and the rights of the individual are key, hence the "American Dream" " is the simple effect of the American dream ideology, as are our comments support of the republican ideology. It can hardly be said, as did this same anonymous user on my page: "yo guy, your comments on the French discussion page are whack. Dawg, lets promote diversity and mutual respect for different peoples !". This is exactly the same as for me comparing multiculturalism to communitarianism. Actually, all antifascist people want to "promote diversity and mutual respect for different peoples". However, as did Pierre-André Taguieff point out, this argument may be reversed and used by racist ideology, such as the Nouvelle Droite defense of a particularist POV against the universalist POV, accused of being racist by ignorance of group specificities. This debate is of course very interesting and important. However, if US can accuse France of not supporting "mutual respect for different peoples", France may very well accuse US official policy of salad bowl and multiculturalism of being an effective case of communitarianism. Now, if you really want to know my personal thoughts about it, I defend a relative sort of communitarianism, that is, multiculturalism, and I believe the word "communautarisme" is overused in French as a pejorative meaning. I think that is a debate for most French young people, to think together clasical universalism with multiculturalism. As it is for young US people. But, if i am a supporter of a specific sort of multiculturalism, which should certainly not be based on ethnic or pseudo-racial distinctions, but on social distinctions - note the nuance, if you can't, you're blind -, whenever i see such a discourse as the one supported by anonymous user, i can hardly do anything else than defending the universal point of view, which ignores race to concentrate on social issues. I'm sorry, but the expression "ethnic French", as "indigenous French", apart of being a logical and historical nonsense, is the same as "race Française", used by early 20th century nationalist writer Maurice Barrès in a cultural (and non-biological) sense. Lapaz

La paz, I appreciate your personal crusade against racism etc.. but I think you are loosing the plot ,as they say in England:-). I agree 100% with Farouk. As he explains, all he wrote is that NOT ONLY the Gerard Depardieu-type people are French... I think even radical Rama agrees with us on this... (sorry rama) The question is: Are there white people in France who have French surnames and have no immigrants in their families as far as they know?

The answer is : YES

Are only these people to be considered French, or are they to be considered a separate ethnicity?

The answer is : NO

We agree on this so what is the problem? Your semantics are just confusing every one, man! Its like fighting racism in the US by denying the existence of white people...--Cassius80 19:07, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

From response to User Lapaz on his page:

Response to "yo guy" post:

Well contrary to your current assimilationist, multi-racial POV, most of the worlds peoples want to maintain their diversity and unique identities, whether biological or cultural. Diversity is a beautiful aspect of humanity and of nature itself. Assimlationist ideologies which contribute only to a few dominant "cultures" are destructive to this diversity and can be considered just as bad as right-wing racism. Classifying and preserving distinct ethnic groups and peoples is not racist and that is a term that is too often used by nihilist far-left wingers, often improperly and with no relevance. You must learn to distinguish between racism and racial/cultural preservation. Intermingling and mixing is good but you do not want too much because you will lose the historical cultural and biological distinctiveness of various peoples/ethnic groups. It is a very good cause for people to defend this view and most people do. Unfortunately though, many people arent able to consider this moderate POV as it is between the extremes of far right-wing hate/racism/fascism (Nazis, etc.) and far left-wing assimilationism and destruction of diversity (e.g. policies of Soviet Union, China). I really hope you realize this because if assmilationism and inter-mingling gets too strong, it will lead to far-right extremist movements seen previously during the early 20th century (hence the current rise of the right in Europe). If you did read this, I just hope this makes you re-consider using the term "racist" so easily. 22:23, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

This statement by numbered user is exactly what Pierre-André Taguieff means by "cultural racism" which has taken in the ethnologist argumentation about ethnocentrism and culturalism, accepts the notion of a "cultural race" (i.e. ethnics), and use it against antiracist discourse for racist purposes. You may read the same argumentation in Alain de Benoist books. Taguieff also pointed out the risk of a specific universalist and humanist discourse which, by its project of perpetual peace and union of humankind, may indeed denies particularities and thus become racist (as this numbered user argues). However, he warned against the danger of taking up this argument from a racist POV. By definition, racism is a discourse aiming to preserve a mythical racial or cultural purity. Lapaz

  • Lapaz, you need to realize that the definition of racism is not to preserve racial or cultural "purity". According to Wikipedia, Racism by definition refers to: "the beliefs, practices, and institutions that discriminate against people based on their perceived or ascribed "race". As for Taguieff's views on "cultural racism" and ethnocentrism, they are not what is meant by the idea of preservation of ethnic groups and peoples and there is also more to ethnic groups and peoples than simply culture. The idea of "ethnic preservation" does not involve hate, prejudice or discrimination against other groups (hence racism) and mainly strives to preserve unique cultural and biological diversity. Ethnic groups and peoples have various distinct feautures, whether biological or social/cultural/behavioural that often stem from common origins and descent. The so called "purtiy" of a group or population is a racist fantasy but the fact remains that ethnicities do have distinct and unique traits which should be maintained. The preservation of ethnic distinctiveness unfortunately can lead to ethnocentrist and fanatical racist movements and ideologies (as you pointed out), but this does not mean that the argument itself is racist and associated with hate/prejudice of other groups. The preservation of biological, cultural and other aspects of ethnic diversity is NOT the same as racism and it should also be noted that any automatic association of the two is often used by assimilationists and "ethnic nihilists" who are against the preservation and diversity of ethnic groups and peoples (as you pointed out that even Taguieff warns about). 00:10, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

By the way, Lapaz, I think your mother language is French, even though your english is almost perfect. In any case, i believe the word "indigenous" has different connotations in French and in English. Indigene in French has a more ethnic, tribish ring to it, maybe thats why you oppose its use in this article. This is not the case in English, in my opinion, when one says someone is indigenous to a particular region. --Cassius80 00:26, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Cassius, you are right and I did pay attention to that. The word "indigenous" is closer to the term native. However, you do understand (contrary to those new numbered users who claim that "ethnic preservation" is not racism) that we oppose the definition of French as native people opposed to non-natives, as both may belong to the French people. It is a difficult debate, because there is a different viewpoint in the English-speaking world and the French one. The word "race" is not even used in French, which makes me more and more think about the reasons why it is still being used in English. Contrary to what the anonymous guy said, preservation of "ethnic groups" is of course racism, because to preserve such a group, you first have to define it. And how can you define it, apart from excluding people from it? And so we shall live side by side (i.e. in apartheid?). When Claude Lévi-Strauss warned about the danger of exterminating ethnics, he spoke of the necessity to protect "primitive" (excuse the term, but I'll contrast it with "indigenous" in this case) ethnic groups from modernization. But we already live in such a modernization. Humanity can be divided along many lines: man, woman, adult, child, black, white, yellow, gay, trans, communist, fascist, liberal, anarcho-capitalist, libertarian, whatever... But there are other ways - i'm not gonna enter this philosophical debate, but... - than thinking that there are just individuals identifying with communities, as in identity politics. Spinoza thought something called transindividuality, and for this transindividuality, division of human being into various more or less hermetic communities has no sense.
What hasn't been understood by those (i'm not talking about you) who blindly criticize our explanation without trying one second to understand them, is that we refuse to think in terms of community. Tocqueville already showed that American people had lot more associations than French; because French have distrusted such associations and intermediate bodies between the individual & the state since the Revolution. Of course they are questions to be adressed about immigration, assimilation and multiculturalism. But we can adress those questions without abandoning our point of view that the French people is not defined by ethnic criterias. Why should it?
Last, to the numbered user who keeps reverting on list of ethnic groups, i find his rv policy despisable; there is no need to think a lot to understand that there are reasons why some Wikipedians are against categories such as "terrorists" or "cults". There exist a "list of purported cults" (and try to enforce the NPOV with cultists!)... In a list of ethnic groups, by definition of an ethnic group itself, you can include only people who self-identify as member of this ethnic group. So, since you've seen that many French people here certainly don't consider themselves to be member of a "native ethnic group of Frenchmen" who would have been in France"longer" than the others (as far as I'm concerned, I've been here only a few years, and less than many immigrants - although I was born here and lived here). I'll add a last point: people in the States, as in other countries massively constituted by immigrants (Argentina for example), quite logically maintains far closer links, at least in their minds and imagination, with their forefathers from Europe. For my part, I have no links much further than my grand-parents, and certainly identify lot more with some guy from Singapour than from a Frenchman of the 19th century.
Final comment: I've been reading recently Judith Butler and Donna Haraway. Just to let know that in the US also they are people tired of identity policies. User 69.157 has, at least in the case of this specific article, a POV lot more extreme than my mainstream POV (for French people). WLapaz
  • I do not see how his (numbered user) view can be considered more "extreme" than yours. Whether or not your view is mainstream has nothing to do with your argument being more valid or not. I agree with the nubmered user in the sense that you Lapaz and many other people for that matter need to realize that preservation of ethnic diversity does not have to be automatically related to racist exclusionist policies. The multi-ethnic and multi-cultural ideology of maintaining such ethnic diversity would itself in fact help decrease any cause such right-wing extremist movements may have. Many countries (eg. Canada, Australia, United Kingdom) have fairly recently enacted such multi-cultural policies quite successfully and they encourage people to maintain their ethnic distinctiveness and origins/roots. As seen from these examples, "exclusion" from such groups does not have to mean removal of liberties or discriminatory policies and in fact an assmilationist policy of one dominant culture (in this article's case, French culture) can be seen as discriminatory itself as it ignores the distinctiveness and even existence of other cultures and peoples. As for Claude Lévis-Strauss, his personal views on "ethnic preservation" do include any indigenous ethnic group but it just so happens that the aboriginal groups you interpreted that he supposedly only meant, are at a greater risk of losing their ethnic distinctivenesss due to massive pressures from larger groups and cultures that are local and from around the world. A classic example of such pressure from a more numerous people/culture however can be found even within France as the Bretons and Corsicans are constantly under pressure from the ethnically destructive assimilationist polices of the French Republic and from French culture itself. Basically, what one should take from my discourse is that so called "ethnic preservation" does not have to include racist and exclusive/discriminatory policies that Lapaz mentioned of and adamantly (rightly so) argues against, and obviously equal rights and liberties can be maintained. If a multi-ethnic policy is enacted, then all peoples can mantain their distinctiveness, but too much settlement and integration in a group from peoples with origins and culture outside of the indigenous ethnic group, will obviously lead to its eventual destruction. This has for example been most notably seen with the many aboriginal peoples in the New World in the former European colonies, but some other common examples include the attempted "Russification" of various peoples in the Soviet Union throughout the Soviet era, especially in the Baltic States, and the major situation with regards to non-Han peoples in China such as the Tibetans and Uyghurs. The similar situation in Europe however seems to be resulting from ever increasing immigration of non-European peoples into relatively small areas which are already densely occupied by indigenous European peoples (compared to historically immigration-based nations like Australia, Canada and the US who are massive in geographic size and quite low in population density). Epf 09:26, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Look at the German, they've had it right (Ernest Renan's debate vs. Fichte):
"The Germans (German: die Deutschen), or the German people, are a nation in the meaning an ethnos (in German: Volk), defined more by a sense of sharing a common German culture and having a German mother tongue, than by citizenship or by being subjects to any particular country. In the world today, approximately 110 million have German as their mother tongue."
This is exactly the reverse of the definition of the French people. This debate has been going on for 200 years guys! Lapaz 18:17, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

So according to you, Lapaz, you can be French without speaking the French language? --Burgas00 20:13, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

The answer is yes. Their was a debate on France Inter yesterday nobody denied it. Ericd 10:51, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Then why is the French language obligatory in French schools? Why read Moliere and Maupassant? Is the entire French civilization reduced to having or not having a passport?--Burgas00 12:03, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

The entire "French civilization" (now, French is not only a nation, which happens to be identic to a so-called "French ethnic group", but it's a "civilization" by its ownself?!!) belongs to what some have called the "West" or "Occident" if you wish. Fichte defined the German according to their language. We have to remember that at Fichte's time, "Germany" as a nation-state did not exist. Some decades later, this has explained Germanish Volkisch movement, which wanted to take into the now constituded German-state (under Prussia's hegemony) all the German-speaking people of Europe, because according to Fichte's definition, they belonged to the German people. Whereas Ernest Renan, and his definition has also survived to this day, defined the nation as a "plébiscite de tous les jours", i.e. not defined on objective criterias ("race", language, ethnic group...) but on subjective criterias (the will to live together). Lapaz
Renan was also a professed racist and an avowed anti-semite. But I suppose that you don't mind too much today? And besides being praised in certain leftist circles, what is the scientific impact of the "cultural" anthropologist Claude Levis-Strauss (who was of the ilk of Franz Boas, Margaret Meredith, .... BTW)? Has he ever seen a bone? Eloge du savoir 23:15, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

I know the university La Sorbonne gives courses to foreigners of Langue et Civilisation Française... Its a very common expression in France. I think you are being unfair on the Germans. Their current definition of German people is similar to the French definition of French people. I dont think anyone can agree with you that one can be french without having any French culture or knowing the language. I dont think even you agree with this statement. Lapaz tell me you are just carrying out an exercise in rhetoric.--Burgas00 16:25, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

In French culture the concept of being French is equal to "French national", period. The concept of "ethnic French" exists only within extreme-right circles (equivalent to Neo-nazis in Germany), therefore there's no need to consider it in wikipedia. It really is as simple as that, and anything said beyond is a POV. Miskin 16:40, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

French POV violation

This page is really terrible. I have read a lot of baised info on wikipedia but this is by far the worst. It is very liberal one sided propaganda being force fed to the reader. It definitely needs to be redone to establish an more balanced viewpoint.

JJstroker 09:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Every ethnic group merits statistical population information. There is no reason to replace it. The French are as much a united ethnicity as the Spanish, Germans, or Italians. (the above by User:

I reverted your "valid population box". You're evidently not familiar with the idea of a logical fallacy. Whether the French are an ethnic group, or united ethnicity, or whatever, has been the subject of debate here. You (and User:JJstroker) may wish to read petitio principii. "The French are an ethnic group/united ethnicity" (which is the matter under debate) "therefore X". No. "This page is liberal propaganda" (again the subject of debate, "French Republican propaganda" seems to be more accurate) "therefore Y". Again, not a logical argument. That doesn't - see argument from fallacy - make the conclusion you are trying to reach ("the French are an ethnic group", "this page is liberal propaganda") false (but it may lead those following the debate to that conclusion if you can't form a better argument). Angus McLellan 10:28, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
French republic law stated there's no such thing of a French ethnicity and all persons in France are included into one national entity. But, minorities are recognized in demographic data in basis of national origin instead of race. It don't matter what color they are: Black French citizens are French, so are Cambodians residing in France, and Melanesians or Pacific Islanders from French Polynesia. According to the government, there has always been strict anti-discrimination laws, but appearedly aren't enforced or France won't have the riots or demonstrations by "SOS racisme" (anti-racism student group has great political power) or North African/Arab organizations today. France admittedly has racial/ethnic issues to deal with and it's hard to say the country displayed colonial abuses in the past, as well huge "de-facto" segregation of French Muslims and cultural barriers on immigrants applied for work. I'm surprised no affirmative action laws exist in France unlike in the U.S. so how they can protect or promote fair employment hiring practices? + Mike D 26 03:31, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
There is no affirmative action laws because they are not fair. All people are equal by law in France.Ocollard 16:03, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Only 4.7 million people of French descent in Canada?

That seems awfully low. I wonder about the Canadian census's methodology. 23:52, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

The number is low, and it in fact doesn't include the numbers for Métis, Québecois, or Acadien/Cajuns. The Canadian census also had a large number of single responses for "Canadian" which greatly skewed the results of the census. Also, unfortunately, they allowed "Canadian" to be on the 2006 census as well (which I recently filled out) so don't expect any more accurate ethnic data in the near future, at least from the Canadian government. Epf 00:02, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Québécois (minority term for French-Canadians from Quebec): 98,670

Métis (mixed aboriginal and French): 307,845

Acadian (French-Canadians from Atlantic Canada): 71,590

Taken from List of Canadians by ethnicity (2001 census). If someone wants to put those numbers into the box, please do so as its all in a mess and I don't have the time currently. Epf 00:11, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

According to testimony at a Canadian Senate committee hearing recently, census estimates of the number of Métis are based entirely on self-identification. Since there is no official drefinition of Métis you can't really do better than that, but obviously it's inaccurate. If someone describes him or herself as Métis because they have a First Nations parent, they are probably not culturally Métis, and if their aboriginal parent has First Nations status then they would be more accurate to describe themselves as a member of a First Nation. Many people may consider themselves Métis simply because of family stories about aboriginal ancestry.
As for being allowed to give your ethnicity as Canadian, they do that because people have twice agitated for the right to be able to do that. After Canadian citizenship was created in 1948 people quickly wanted to know why they couldn't describe themselves on the census as Canadian. They got to do that, then the opportunity to do it was taken away but Canadians kept reporting they were Canadian, anyway, until the option was formally restored. At an educational conference in Toronto years ago a presenter who was surveying ethnic origin reported that people of all ethnic origins insist on reporting that they are Canadian.
I'd as soon the question were eliminated entirely, but as long as the question's on the census I want to be able to say I'm Canadian because a) that's what I am, and b)if I have to tick off all my ethnic "heritages" that's a lot of work. John FitzGerald 17:06, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
As you will probably have concluded from my name (fils de Gérald), one of those heritages is French, too, or Norman, at least. It's a hell of a lot more informative to the government to know I'm Canadian, though. If I checked off, as I could, Irish, English, French, and Danish (or Norwegian), and put Norman in the Other category, who benefits from knowing that? John FitzGerald 14:05, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Philosophical ramblings

Why does half of this page have to be dedicated to explaining why French nationals of foreign extraction are also French? This is self-evident. It is the same in EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD:

  • British people of Pakistani origin are also "British".
  • Italian citizens of Hungarian origin (like Cicciolina) are also Italian.
  • Pakistani citizens of Pashtun origin are also Pakistani.
  • German citizens of Polish origin are also German.
  • Spanish citizens of Morrocan origin are also Spanish.


What is the big deal? What is so special about France that we have to write whole tracts of (in my opinion) nonsense so as to explain something that is true ine every country in the world?

Can this whole issue not be resumed in the sentence: 23% of French citizens have at least partial foreign origin.???

No wonder people accuse this page of being NPOV. Instead of just pointing out a fact (some French people have foreign origins) a whole essay has to be written defending the supposed French melting pot. Globalization is a worldwide phenomenon. It is not restricted to France... --Burgas00 19:11, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Because this explains why the French people do not constitute an ethnic group but a nation. We've already had this discussion, haven't we? Lapaz 20:33, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Then what is an ethnic group? Only those ethnic groups who do not have the luck of being the dominant culture of a particular state are to be considered as such? Are Morrocans an ethnic group? According to your logic they are an ethnic group in France but not in Morroco (since Morocco is a nation). How about Turks? In Germany they are an ethnic group whereas in Turkey they are a "nation" which happens to include the Kurds! It doesnt make sense. Please explain to me who ARE an ethnic group rather than who are not. Have you not considered that the French people are an ethnic group AND a nation? That both concepts overlap and that perhaps that is one of France's principal social problems at this point? --Burgas00 20:42, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

This does not explain why Dominique Schnapper's definition (he is after all member of the French Constitutional Council) should be deleted, especially if we agreed to keep the US State Dept definition. NPOV requires both sides to have their say. Lapaz 20:46, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Actually Lapaz Ive just read the whole article properly and I have changed my mind. The article is pretty good and I wont do anymore editing. But my points are still valid. Where is the line drawn between nation and ethnicity? How can you have a list of ethnic groups which includes the Irish, the Spanish, the Italians and the Turks but not the French? Because this article is not about ethnicity but about the French nation and republic. Imagine an equivalent Turkish people article espousing the values of the Mustafa Kamal father of Turks and explaining why Kurds and Armenians born in Turkey are also Turks. Turkey after all is a (great) nation not an ethnic group. --Burgas00 21:44, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Burgas, I'm pleased to see that you finally don't find any major problem in this article. I just want to point out that taking the example of the "list of ethnic group" is taking Wikipedia as an auto-reference. If I had the time and the will for that, I would actually go challenge this definition where it would be appropriate. The question you lift about the Turkish people is different now: you ask if only the self-definition should be admitted. But on this page we've stated the US State Dept definition; it's just that it goes so far against all major scholar works that I know off &, more importantly, against the very definition of popular sovereignty given by Rousseau. As I explain immediately below, popular sovereignty has historically worked on the combination of the concept of "people" with the concept of "nation", incarnated in the nation-state: that is why there can't be a "French ethnic group", since it goes against the definition of the French nation itself (something which has been repeated over & over here, and not only by me). Now, again, if I am intent on giving this fundamental precisions, this in no ways means that I believe there are no discrimination problems in France, or that there is no "crisis of sovereignty" (in particular relating to Europe, globalization, etc.) and of the "nation-state". One of the sign of this crisis is Epf's following comment, which shows, as Hervé Le Bras, director of the INED put it, ethnicity classification is the product of an ideology. In other words: just as the "French people" is the product of a nationalist ideology, the "French people" considered as an ethnic group is the product of a post-modern racial ideology. Epf's statement (according to which they are "both French as an ethnic group and French as a nation" would have surprised Maurice Barrès, one of the leading French nationalist intellectual in the beginning of the 20th century, Charles de Gaulle, Boulainvilliers (a Medieval author who believed the aristocrats represented a foreign, "Frankish" race, while the Third Estate represented the indigenous Gallo-Roman population), Arthur de Gobineau, founder of scientific racism and author of An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853-55), etc. etc. It is an argument that can only be lifted in 2006, no one would have had this idea before. This is a clear sign of the crisis of the nation-state & of sovereignty, in which the ethnicist discourse is slowly replacing the nationalist discourse. Lapaz 18:54, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Lapaz, there are both French as an ethnic group and French as a nation. This article is just a result of the fears of people about some automatic association between ethnicity and nationality or citizenship, as WAS the case with Germany in the 20th century. Finally now even there, the lines are being drawn between ethnic entities and a separate natoinal or political entity. Epf 01:14, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
"There are both French as an ethnic group and French as a nation": this is a POV statement which is not shared by the vast majority of French people, as discussed in December 05-January 06 on this talk page. Le concept de souveraineté, établi d'abord par Bodin puis par Hobbes, s'est divisé après la Révolution de 1789 selon les deux concepts différenciés, l'Etat et la nation. Le concept de souveraineté populaire, inventé par Rousseau, établi une équivalence entre le peuple et la souveraineté (i.e. le peuple souverain), qui s'incarne donc dans l'Etat-nation... Un peu de philosophie politique ne fera surement pas de mal à personne sur cette page... On peut ensuite parler des problèmes post-nationaux et de la crise de la souveraineté, en faisant intervenir la question de l'Europe, des espaces trans-nationaux, etc. etc. Cela n'efface pourtant pas l'histoire passée et l'identification historique du peuple à la nation. Lapaz 18:43, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
According to Boulainvilliers, the so-called "French ethnic group" were called "Franks" and were the French aristocrats (a foreign people, mind you, a Nordic race closer than the Germans than to anybody else), while the real French people (the Third Estate) were the autochtonous and vainquished Gallo-Romans. But you're not going actually to claim Boulainvilliers was right, are you? Lapaz 18:56, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Arguably, Morrocans are not an ethnic group. There's at least three ethnic groups in Morroco. Ericd 12:22, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

"There are both French as an ethnic group and French as a nation" is not merely a POV statement, and it is also based on facts. I think that it is bordering on ridiculous that you claim this is not shared by the "vast majority" of French people. I think the results from a poll that show how 1/3 of the people of France are openly racist clearly disproves that point. Even Audrey Tautou from the "Da Vinci Code" expresses how she is not of any foreign ethnic origins and is of native French descent (read her bio on Imdb). In response to your question about Boulainvilliers, I disagree with much of what he says. He is right that the original native inhabitans of France were the Gallo-Romans, but the Franks came and mixed with Gallo-Roman culture to create French culture and language. The Franks had a very small demographic impact (with most modern "ethnic French" tracing their descent to Gallic/pre-Gallic peoples), but they had instead a much larger cultural, linguistic and historical one. Epf 19:48, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

A opinion isn't a fact, a third of French people being racist doesn't make them an ethnic group. A large part of French racist ideology refer to an European culture and ethnicity. Ericd 13:32, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Indeed it is true that an opinion isn't fact, and a "large part of French racist ideology referring to a European culture and ethnicicty" doesn't exclude the indigenous French as an ethnic group either or as a culture distinct in its own right from other European peoples. 01:59, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Why not have two pages

Why dont you have one page for French, the ethnic group, like you have done for all the other european peoples and one for French citizens

Why don't we ? good question since that would resolve alot of the problems in this article. We however need some references and most that I have found are not on-line, but are literature. Eventually, when I get the time, I will separate this article into two, with one on French citizens/nationals (although this may already exist in "demographics of France") and one on indigenous "ethnic French" (i.e. the original form of this page, but with more referencing and less originial research). Epf 19:55, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Oh no... I sense trouble...:-)

lol, I hope not. I'm spending less time on Wiki recently anyway since its summer here, not to mention the World cup is starting in a few days. Epf 20:43, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Yep, best leave it until after World Cup. Following Rolland Garros is already taking up too much of my time dammit! Work is piling up... will have to take a "wikibreak"...

Census datas

Is there 60,876,136 of French nationals or French residents ? Ericd 13:40, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Most likely residents in France, but that number comes from the CIA World Fact Book, which, useful as it may be as a concentration of information, tends to not cite sources or provide details about the numbers quoted.
In France, official census is conducted by the INSEE [13]. Estimation from INSEE as of January 2006 gives 61,044,684 [14] inhabitants in metropolitan France (Continental France + nearby islands including Corsica), and 62,886,171 [15] in "France" (including the overseas departements of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion and French Guyana, but excluding overseas territories such as Mayotte (pop. ~200,000), New Caledonia (pop. 230,000), French Polynesia (pop. 260,000) and a few other islands). Those are residents, not french nationals. In 1999, the proportion of foreigners in France was 5.6% (3.2 millions) [16], a percentage that is unlikely to have changed much since. Equendil Talk 12:00, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

New edits to definition section

Feedback? I tried to make sense of all the discussions we have had on this issue...--Burgas00 08:29, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

I like your current edit, but you must remember that his definition include a presumed common ancestry/genealogy which is either actual or that is based on actual fact. Again, im not able to reply as often, been busy. Epf 21:04, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree with your edit to my edit:-)--Burgas00 12:09, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Population with French ancestry

How come this section only focuses on the Americas? There are a number of other places in the world with significant French ancestral ties, most notably Ireland and Britain. Fergananim 14:54, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Of course, the British Isles owes an applause to settlements and foundations by peoples from France being on the mainland (Europe). You might heard/read of the term "Gaullic" to self-designate ethnic origins of the French from original inhabitants, the Gauls of Celtic origin in pre-Roman France. But be in mind, France was a result of immersion of Iberians, Romans, Greeks and Franks, a Germanic people founded the kingdom by the name of "France". Many other countries like Iran, Japan and the U.S. have a common identity of its' peoples, but anthropologists and genetic science finds these peoples aren't entirely homogeneous either. For countries partially settled by France if not ruled the lands, Chile and Argentina formerly of Spain had small percentages of people with French ancestry, but form a large porportion of politicans, economists, artists, celebrities and agriculturists. What's interesting enough is what president Charles de Gaulle, a nationalist in some ways quoted: "Nowhere in the world has the French hasn't ruled over, colonized, influenced or contributed to them. The world is entirely or partly influenced by the culture and people of France". Whether it's truth or his opinion, France was one of the world's great powers in a period of time. + Mike D 26 03:40, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
MD, more countries have french blood you didn't include. In the 17th cen. French huguenots arrived in South Africa to get away from religious persecution. The Afrikaaner culture is part-Dutch and part-French. Some of the Afrikaans language contains French words. When the french people came, erected "maisons" and vineyards in a land not known for wineries. south Africa exports wines to global markets compete against French top brands or wines from california. Tens-thousands of French went to Brazil in late 19 cen. to bustling cities, others created plantations and farms. French blood reached all corners of the earth, former French citizens long lived in Egypt, and a few are in the Philippines. what can I say? Les francaises everywhere. 03:17, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Moved passage

I moved the following: "This definition is problematic for a number of reasons:

  • The concept of an open community based entirely on citizenship and common values contradicts the state endorsement of one official language, culture and identity. French centralism effectively forbids multiculturalism in France and, to a large extent, imposes French identity and "ethnicity" on immigrant communities and minority groups.
  • A definition of French people based entirely on citizenship would exclude those of French ancestry, language and culture who for one reason or another do not have French citizenship.
  • In the same way, it would forcibly include those French citizens (for example, in French overseas territories such as New Caledonia) who do not consider themselves as French and have their own language, culture and heritage which is unrelated to metropolitan France."

It is contradictory (although I agree that definition of nation & citizenship can easily be said contradictory), but more importantly unsourced. "The concept of an open community based entirely on citizenship and common values contradicts the state endorsement of one official language, culture and identity": in what does "common" oppose itself with "unity" — pace regionalism? "French centralism effectively forbids multiculturalism": depends on what's your notion of "multiculturalism". Some claim laicité was purposefully done so Protestants could go in the same school as Catholics. That was a hundred years ago. "A definition of French people based entirely on citizenship would exclude those of French ancestry, language and culture for one reason or another do not have French citizenship.": in other words, a definition of citizenship would exclude those who don't have citizenship. I agree with this statement :) The thing is, it's easier to get citizenship (although it's becoming very difficult lately) than to find a new family (and thus belong to the "ethnic Frenchmen" group, who shouldn't be mistaken with "Français de souche" — a subtility which should give ideas to some of these politicians in lack of inspiration :) In truth, there is only the last statement which is probably not only true, but also real: "*In the same way, it would forcibly include those French citizens (for example, in French overseas territories such as New Caledonia) who do not consider themselves as French and have their own language, culture and heritage which is unrelated to metropolitan France." This gave rise to such things as the Algerian War of Independence, to name only one... Lapaz 03:51, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Sorry for reverting your edits. I feel some further discussion is needed before making such changes. As for your question, it is easy to understand that being French is not only about obtaining citizen rights but about adopting French language and culture. If it was not the case, the French state would offer free education in Basque, Arabic or Chinese and grant these languages co-official status. It does not. --Burgas00 16:37, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

French is the one and only language in the government. They don't teach other languages for applicants to obtain citizenship, and in order to do that the future citizens must learn French. For neighboring nationalities in Europe or the whole European Union, most of them are able to learn French at school or picked it up on radio or television. French is also spoken in the duchy of Luxembourg, Switzerland, the Aosta valley of Italy, and the Walloon region of Belgium. There's advantages for British, Germans, Spaniards and other nationalities to quickly become French citizens this way. It's not like in the U.S. where ESL classes are common (Spanish is the most used in these), or how the INS conducts naturalization courses in 15 languages, especially for immigrants whom had little education. + Mike D 26 03:52, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Again, to be French you have to obtain a French passport. Nowhere — tills now — does this force you to learn French — although it is implicitly believed you should be "assimilated", and therefore know French. But being French and knowing how to speak French remain, to this day, two different things. Lapaz

French people in the world

I added the number of French people living in Spain. Maybe someone should consider to swap to a similar table than Bulgarians, Germans, etc pages. If the addition of Spain is not OK for some reason, please remove accordingly. Regards, E Asterion u talking to me? 21:24, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

I added more nations to the "French people by ethnic or national descent" page: American-French, Chinese-French, Indian-French and Swedish-French. The list has 20 nationalities to represent famous people of France of diverse origins, such as Charles de Gaulle, a native of Lille, France was said to had Dutch and German branches in his family tree and this is common for people of Northern/Northeast France. I want to note Monaco is a small principality legally outside the French republic, but most of its' 34,000 residents/citizens are French and/or Italian descent. Andorra is another principality not in France, but most people are of French, Catalan or Spanish descent. So far, my new edits haven't been full or they remain red links likely to get taken down. + Mike D 26 03:46, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

removed (redundant?) paragraph in article

The section on French Jews, identity and anti-Semitism was very good written, but unfortunately, the article couldn't make a point. Redundant article you call's the problem. There was sloppy work and POV here and there, as well citations needed to verify the status of French Jews and assimilation into their nation's social fabric throughout French history. I would find the article and redo it within wikipedia standards, so it's more relevant to explain a subsection of the French people identified as "Jewish". There's a whole separate article on French-Jewish history, a proper place for it and already the subject is covered. I agree out of historical fact the French Republic has fought anti-Semitism, but the phenomenon does exist in the present without doubt. Most French people are against anti-Semitism as the article rules out, but any edits can't make assumptions like that on wikipedia. The article lacked a fully detailed analysis on why the post-revolution (19th c.) government took down ancient legal and social barriers against Jews in France, and encouraged a pattern of assimilation to a degree the French Jews truly are French first, Jewish second. Before I restore the article, let's have a vote in here: Agree? Oppose? or postpone. How can an intellegent article may work like a machine does show loose nuts or bolts? Let's have a vote, shall we? +Mike D 26 07:16, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Antisemitism is a marginal issue in France. Most jews are well integrated and exist at all echelons of society. Antisemitic views are not widely held nor expressed. Social problems worth mentioning and explaining more fully regard France's large African and North African minority. There are serious problems of integration of these communities which are the main focus of xenophobia in France. --Burgas00 15:57, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Anyone has any problem with my edit? --Burgas00 12:16, 23 October 2006 (UTC)'re retooling and reediting to describe accuracy and relevance. French Jews are well of and socially equal, but anti-Semitism in France is a minor problem appeared in waves throughout the last 40 years. Vandalism of cemeteries, synagogue arson and protests by various far-right, far-left and Radical Islamic groups targeted French Jews. To deny France has a small, but vicious cycle of anti-Semitism is the same for one to deny America has racism against African-Americans (which does exist, but unlike in the past) or to deny Australia has strong opposition to non-European immigration (obviously, every developed country has an immigration issue). North Africans and Muslims are a bigger issue, but any minority by race, ethnic, religious and social, will encounter types of discrimination and prejudice, in France and elsewhere. Riots and civil disturbances in France by North African immigrants and French Muslim citizens are on the increase on the first anniversary of the (Nov. 2005) riots that spread across the country. France is afraid they succumbed to criminal youths, increased urban blight of their housing projects and the difficult assimilation pattern of much of over 5 million French Muslims. To compare the struggle of French Jews, French Muslims and French protestants have great similarities (and differences) on their experience of integration. France now braces themselves for more civil unrest by decades of neglect and discrimination (illegal and unpopular to most French) at the first place. + Mike D 26 03:01, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Here's the removed article that's mentioned, how can it be changed to avoid POV or sticky subjects? France is a country won't put up with anti-Semitism, a small undercurrent movement brings its' ugly head once in every few years.

French identity and anti-Semitism

<<<- :Main Articles: History of the Jews in France, - One of France's difficult issues (less present since world war II) involve both religion and ancestry of assimilated French Jews. A large percentage of French Jews, either by religious practice or those identified as Jewish by parental ancestry, identify themselves French and usually find their "Jewishness" a minor title. Anti-semitism is a marginal issue not as fierce like racism and nativism in the late 20 c, but nevertheless it came in waves in acts of discrimination, and vandalism of synagogues and cemeteries. Some French Jews claimed to encounter various forms of anti-Semitism from those who exposed their prejudice. The French government did as much they can to combat anti-Semitism. Some anti-Semitic commentary goes back thousands of years, other myths came from fascist ideologies gained ground in the early 20th c. Many French don't like to suggest famous "French people" of Jewish origin as "Jewish" too much: Leon Blum, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Pierre Mendes-France, Sarah Bernhardt, Albert Schweitzer and Emile Zola, either by parentage or are in Judaism. The scourge of anti-Semitism is considered a social taboo in present-day France, due to content of what bigotry can do to people considered "French" first or foremost, and under government policy, social inclusion and diversity are deeply held moral values. The threat of anti-Semitism is weak, but remain evident by far-right nationalists, some far-left anti-zionists, and Islamic fundamentalist groups known to hold anti-Semitic or anti-Israel viewpoints. Their opinions and protests had offended and defamed French Jews, a bigger counter-opinion would appear to show French society won't allow it. In fact, holocaust denial is a crime and to publically discuss ethnic origins (such as French Jews) can lead to legal ramifications. Alike any Western European democracy, anti-Semitism is limited to a small fringe that most French abhor and disagree with.>>>

Wikipedia may want to examine the article before it's restored. The admins don't want to make France look bad, and definitely true to intentionally stir racial and religious hatred is illegal under French law. But it don't explain the difficult task to arrest and charge suspects involved in hate crimes against Jewish centers, cemeteries and properties (some simply got away in the middle of night). Btw, my father is from France, and told me these things on his country isn't racist, but some of his countrymen like Jean-Marie Le Pen's controversial statements are stuck on old prejudices.+ Mike D 26 14:26, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't think a country proud of their freedom and tolerance like France is gonna like you adding it. I understand the significance of age-old hatreds by a few people who hold them, because no society is perfect. But the French aren't too worried...and some aren't comfortable to address the topics on race, religion and cultural diversity. France has endorsed everyone no matter who they are or where they from to be accepted in the spectrum of "French people". Now to demonstrate not only the French or Americans, but the world was shocked to find Mel Gibson and Michael Richards, both of the entertainment industry, managed to get away after shouting racist epithets or anti-Semitic comments loud for the media to record them at the act. Probably a few of us in France may feel or want to create a paragraph on Americans are racist, anti-Semite or nativist (the recent comments by US representative Tom Tancredo bashed urban areas are "third world" by large-scale immigration). It would be too disparaging to view America, the way you made France look like, a country of bigots and xenophobes. I suggest you leave the French people article alone. 15:42, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

New archive request

Talk:French People is in need of proper organization. Make a new archive and put away the paragraph in it's own archive. I find it gotten too long and takes 15-30 seconds to download. Let's make space and reorganize the talk page every 6 months (starting now). sorry I can't create an archive, because I'm using an anon IP address. 17:13, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

NPOV tagging

The article, with a brief and internally rebutted argument towards the majority view notwithstanding, is a decidedly minority-view, political statement which neither addresses the historic French people or the attributes and ethnic heritage of the vast majority of the people of France. The article is intended to be about "French people," not "French citizens." A brief summary of the definition of the notion of an ethnic people may be found at Wikipedia's article ethnic group. The NPOV tag should not be removed until the entire tone of the article conforms to the majority and traditionally adhered-to view rather than the minority-view political statement if the legitimacy of Wikipedia as a tool for learning and scholarship is valued at all. 18:00, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Define "majority" and "minority". Looking at the talk page here it is clear that the "majority" view in the English speaking world of what the French ethnic group consists of clashes directly with the "majority" view of the French themselves. It's not our job to declare one right and one wrong, just document their opinions. Kevlar67 19:11, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

I’m French and I agree with Kevlar. French people don’t typically see themselves as a specific ethnic group. Before WW II, those born in the countryside were still very much defined by regional culture. Most spoke only the local dialect until the age of seven when they went to school and begun to study French, sometimes the hard way. I had a teacher from Brittany born in the 30s who didn’t know she was French until the age of 8, when the teacher told her. There is no common French national costume. The nationality of borderly provinces changed through the times. People were Alsatians rather than French or Germans, Gascons rather than French or Spanish. Actually, I think the situation that I’m describing here stands for most European countries.

I believe, though, that there is a strong sense of unity among Frenchs, but it is based on cultural myths taught in school, mostly History, and citizenship. We accept the saga of French History as being our common family history, even if actually most of us are late joiners and France wasn’t even called France during the first centuries. Then there is citizenship : being harrassed by the same administration, blaming the same politicians, those things bond. And the use of frenglish too... 18:01, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

That was also the case with Italy, regionalism was stronger than "Italianism". However you can't say that Italians did not become an ethnic group, especially those who migrated to the US and Australia. It's true that in the early-mid 20-th century, in many rural regions people spoke only Patois and had to actually learn french as a foreign language, and I'm not talking about Britanny but about central France. This is something common by european standards, it's got nothing to do with assimilation or multi-ethnicity (except when it happens in the Balkans). On the other hand the French communities in Algeria remained isolated for over two generations, kept their language and customs and did not mix with the locals. So you can't really say that the French identity does not cling to an ethnicity, unless you apply this to all Western Europe first. Miskin 18:07, 7 March 2007 (UTC)