Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Middle Eastern Studies


Jonathan Shannon

Subject Categories

Near Eastern Languages and Societies | Other International and Area Studies


Diaspora, France, Hip-Hop, Multi-culturalism, North Africa, Rap


This paper focuses on rap and hip-hop music that is produced from Franco-Maghrebi communities living in Marseille. The discussion revolves around the question of how rap music helps these communities to assimilate into French culture. The conclusion is two-fold. Marseille, as a city whose urban planning promotes physical assimilation of immigrants with French-born citizens, performs as an integrative force for these communities. Additionally, rap simultaneously assists Franco-Maghrebis in integrating into and subverting from French society. Franco-Maghrebi rappers integrate by becoming a part of mainstream French culture. Yet, they also subvert by extraordinarily placing race and discrimination at the forefront of the French dialectic. The actions of Franco-Maghrebi rap artists can be termed as "acceptable deviance." They "acceptably" deviate from the normal without subverting completely outside of the boundaries that the French government sets for assimilating migrants. In conclusion, the paper examines the ways that popular culture acts as a forum for expression and allows many immigrants the chance to assimilate into French culture without completely conforming.