Journal Article — Black Skin, White Masks Revisited: Contemporary Post-Colonial Dilemmas in the Netherlands, France, and Belgium — by Eric Mielants

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Abstract

Several problems beset the immigrant communities and academic scholarship in Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. The current politicization of higher education–who gets tenure or governmental financial support for what kind of social science research–results in timid criticism of existing public policies. The greatly differential integration models used in the Netherlands, Belgium, and France have resulted in different ways of collecting data and analyzing the ‘other.’ This article addresses how divergent discourses about the ‘other’ have been constructed over time: according to the French assimilationist model, ethnic minorities do not (officially) ‘exist’; the Netherlands, until recently, embraced a ‘tolerant’ multi-cultural model that conceptualized ethnic minorities as ‘units’ that could be measured and classified according to gradual progress and development; meanwhile Belgium, due to its linguistic divisions, has created another hybrid. This article, in dialogue with Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, argues that the social sciences and existing paradigms in these three countries will need to be de-colonized in order to facilitate de-colonization and anti-racist practices in everyday life.

Recommended Citation

Mielants, Eric. 2007. “Black Skin, White Masks Revisited: Contemporary Post-Colonial Dilemmas in the Netherlands, France, and Belgium.” Pp. 297-304 in Reflections on Fanon: The Violences of Colonialism and Racism, Inner and Global—Conversations with Frantz Fanon on the Meaning of Human Emancipation (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume V, Special Issue, 2007.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).

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