"What I describe is a part of those truths which - as Michel Foucault wrote shortly before his death - one must take the risk of saying, but which one must also have the courage to listen to."
Often, in recent years, the suburbs of the western metropolis have been the scene of clashes between the police force and the inhabitants, mostly young people of foreign origins. In 2005 it was the turn of the major French cities.
Didier Fassin brings us an ethnography focused on a "special" police force from the urban area of Paris. He describes their daily lives made of inactivity and boredom, but also shows the constant recurrence of humiliations, violence and discrimination against ethnic minorities and immigrants. The analysis reveals how, in a context of growing disparities and racial tensions, the state tends to act to strengthen the current social order rather than to defend public order.
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