Republican discourse about the “nomads” (1908-1912): The cases of Étienne Flandin and Marc Réville

By Emmanuel Filhol


In the genesis of the parliamentary proposals, bills, debates, and reports playing a role in the control system for “nomads” established by the law of 1912, the issue of family, work, and habitat applied to Gypsies constitutes an important ideological factor for justifying the adoption of a particularly discriminatory and vexatious body of legislation against them. From the discourse on these topics that appeared between 1908 and 1912—emanating from two Republicans, Étienne Flandin and Marc Réville—the article aims to show what is meant by symbolic violence, which is inseparable from the social and cultural devaluation expressed towards the Gypsy communities.


  • “nomads”
  • Gypsies
  • stereotypes
  • parliamentarians
  • legislation
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