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Like all such dichotomies, real life seldom fits neatly into one box or the other. I've had a fair amount of direct experience with various minority communities in the US and there is always a dynamic tension between the value of "fitting in" to the dominant culture and developing pride in your own heritage.

The politics of the past year certainly raise all sorts of questions about how well things are working in the UK. It is very difficult to get beyond the headlines of occasional dramatic incidents such as a bombing in Britain and the burning of cars in France. I think the real issue is what is happening with the vast majority of people who are simply trying to go about their daily business.

I don't know if any data on the matter is available, but it would be interesting to see if there is any correlation between the people who feel psychologically integrated into French society and those who are achieving economic gains.

by Richard Lyon (rllyon@gmail.com) on Fri Aug 25th, 2006 at 01:35:32 PM EST
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