De quelle origine êtes-vous? Banalisation du nationalisme méthodologique

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The high frequency that the question “where are you from” gets asked in ordinary conversation, as well as the insistence on getting private information from people one hardly knows, reveal an interesting phenomenon: an exceptional reversing of the codes of politeness, where indiscretion becomes the rule while efforts to avoid it become impolite acts. In order to explain this phenomenon, this article compares the hypothesis of racial micro-aggression defended by the existing literature and supported by the results of the French survey Trajectories and Origins, to the hypothesis of methodological nationalism. The article shows that the second hypothesis provides a better explanation of how the “where are you from” question is actually practiced. The article’s thesis is that the importance of the “where are you from” question in ordinary conversations is a measure of the banalization of methodological nationalism
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