The French, Coming Apart

A social thinker illuminates his country’s populist divide.

The real-estate market in any sophisticated city reflects deep aspirations and fears. If you had a feel for its ups and downs—if you understood, say, why young parents were picking this neighborhood and drunks wound up relegated to that one—you could make a killing in property, but you also might be able to pronounce on how society was evolving more generally. In 2016, a real-estate developer even sought—and won—the presidency of the United States.

In France, a real-estate expert has done something almost as improbable. Christophe Guilluy calls himself a geographer. But he has spent decades as a housing consultant in various rapidly changing neighborhoods north of Paris, studying gentrification, among other things. And he has crafted a convincing narrative tying together France’s various social problems—immigration tensions, inequality, deindustrialization, economic decline, ethnic conflict, and the rise of populist parties. Such an analysis had previously eluded the Parisian caste of philosophers, political scientists, literary journalists, government-funded researchers, and party ideologues.

  • Gary

    What worries me it that I keep hearing non-white immigrant are Toronto taking sides with the muslim terrorists in Paris and claim that France deserves it for the way they treat muslims.
    This tells me that when muslims go jihad in Toronto the same immigrants will claim that canadians deserved it from the islamophobia.
    My gut feeling over M-103 is to set the foundation for Jihad attacks by fabricated attacks on islam which the media keeps reporting as hate-crimes with NO evidence other than the words from an imam or hijab wearing muslim.

    When that Church was fire-bombed on easter Sunday, John Tory refused to call it a hate-crime even when the security video showed the person doing it. But when an Imam alleged damage to his mosque with NO proof for who did….Tory denounces the act as a hate-crime and islamophobia.
    CITY TV sent a Muslim reporter to cover it and they smiled while claiming it wasn’t a hate-crime and that the Easter service was put off.
    Imagine how fast you would be fired reporting a Mosque vandalism as you smiled and refused to call it a hate-crime but mere vandalism.

    And muslims wonder why islam is the most hated faith on earth while its followers are seen as lairs by the 6,000,000,000 non-muslims .