Since the nineteenth century, France, not unlike the United States, has experienced significant immigration and, as a result, great flux. Yet, the French public discourse and policy instruments concerned with ethnic and racial diversities evolved in sharp contrast to those in the United States. Whereas U.S. nation-building incorporated the recognition of ethnoracial identities, with all of its trials and tribulations, the French nation's trajectory assumed a unitary form. Recent developments, however, point to changes in the Republic's projection of its identity and its citizenry. An analysis of school teaching finds that the Republic is now re-envisioned as open and tolerant of diversity, though more from a universalistic, normative perspective—increasingly indexed at the transnational level—than from a perspective that privileges France's immigrant and colonial past.

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