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Amsterdam Research Center for Gender and Sexuality (ARC-GS)

Gender & Sexuality Workshop

“Femonationalism, civic integration and their discontents”

Sara R. Farris

(IAS, Princeton 2012-2013;

Sociology Department, Cambridge University, UK)



Saskia Bonjour

(LeidenUniversity, Institute for History)



This paper presents the results of a study of the recent ‘civic integration’ turn in Europe and its emphasis upon women’s equality. Civic integration refers to the main principle guiding the common EU agenda for the integration of third country nationals (i.e., immigrants from the Global South). It emphasizes the need for immigrants to learn the language, history and values of the European country of destination in order for them to achieve successful integration. Civic integration programs put particular emphasis on gender equality, both in terms of promoting immigrant women’s participation in the EU labor market and in terms of presenting gender equality as one of the pillars of European values. By showing how the gender mainstreaming of integration programs is concretely implemented, particularly in countries such as the Netherlands, France and Italy, this paper will address the paradoxes lying at the heart of the European agenda on integration. In particular, such paradoxes will be addressed in terms of (a) the nationalist translation of EU supranational directives and the nationalist mobilisation of gender equality, or what I call Femonationalism, which have been deployed mainly in an Islamophobic manner; (b) the contradictions of ‘emancipatory liberal feminism’ which interprets women’s emancipation as women’s wage work ‘outside the household’; (c) the role of immigrant women and reproductive labor under neoliberalism. The paper will analyze these trends by means of the conceptual tools provided by the sociology of migration, political economy and feminist theory.


Date: Friday, March 15

Time: 10:30-12:30

Location: Bushuis, F0.22 (Kloveniersburgwal 48)


The workshop is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

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