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Sont-ils encore gens de Guadeloupe? Departmentalization, migration, and family dynamics

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This essay studies the tensions and contradictions of the change in status from colony to dpartement d'outre-mer, especially as it affected Caribbean migrants in the hexagon. Athough they became citizens in 1848 with the abolition of slavery, in 1946 they were also henceforth, in theory, domiens rather than colonial subjects. Were these migrants welcomed like the black Americans who travelled to Paris, treated as equal citizens or marginalized because of race? Was their relationship with the pays natal transformed? How did their children who were born in the hexagon define themselves? And how does literature represent the new order? Despite the promises of equality, racism and discrimination persist. Gisle Pineau shows in L'Exil selon Julia how three generations of a Guadeloupean family experience the resulting citoyennet inacheve, thus exposing the gap between the theory of equality and actual practice.
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Keywords: French Caribbean; Gisle Pineau; citizenship; departmentalization; migration

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Rutgers University.

Publication date: 2008-06-16

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  • The International Journal of Francophone Studies offers a critical preview for a new development in the understanding of 'France outside France', with a thorough insight into the network of disciplinary issues affiliated with this study. The journal complements the thriving area of scholarly interest in the French-speaking regions of the world, bringing a location of linguistic, cultural, historical and social dynamics within a single academic arena.
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