Modes and specificities of socialization of young Muslims in France : results of a survey of the Grenoble metropolitan area
Little is yet known about young Muslims in France, even though Islam currently represents a dual challenge to the social sciences : first, as France’s second religion, it has become of greater interest to populations of immigrant origin, a phenomenon that runs directly counter to secularization dynamics ; second, the tensions elicited by this religion at international and national levels mean that it is at the front row in debates on relations between religion and violence. The article makes use of the results of 1,600 students from 13 to 19 in the Grenoble metropolitan area to get a better grasp of the various issues at stake. The survey is one of the rare information sources that allow for crossing young people’s religious preference with a wide range of variables, including their social and environmental characteristics, opinions on various subjects (sense of injustice, attitude to institutions, perception of violence) and behaviors, namely whether respondent has or has not committed incivilities or criminal offenses. The guiding hypothesis is that the current conditions in which young Muslims are socialized favor the development of a set of specific values and representations that are likely to provoke tension with institutions while imputing a certain meaning to violence. Three themes are successively examined : young Muslims’ religious and socio-cultural characteristics, their attitudes toward politics and institutions, and the issue of violence. The paper concludes by putting forward some general observations on the type of political socialization young people of Muslim faith are experiencing today.