Une place s'est libérée dans notre coloc à Villejuif. Le loyer est de 452€ CC. On prioritarise les personnes racisé.e.s et LGBTI et on ne peut prendre qu'un.e étudiant.e. (Demande de l'agence)
⚠️ La chambre n'est pas louée meublée !
Si intéressé.e.s venez dm 💕
RT appréciés

A place was released in our roommate in Villejuif. The rent is 452 € CC. Priority is given to racialized and LGBTI people and only one student can be taken. (Agency request)
⚠️ The room is not rented furnished!
If interested, come on 💕
RT appreciated

Google translate tells me it means "Racialized persons" but that seems to not fit the context (a tweet asking for a room mate). Could you further explain what the meaning of racisé(es) is in context?

  • 1
    A definition of racisé on the site of The Ligue des droits et libertés (Québec). I think we don't use the word much in France. If you go by the definition - which can be open to controversies - I expect in France a lot of people would say personnes appartenant à une minorité which in France include LGBTQ+. It seems here it only refers to ethnic minorities and in France we would say minorité ethniques. Other opinions needed
    – None
    Oct 22, 2019 at 19:13
  • @laure the definition you give seems in line with the way I've seen the term used. I think it has gained momentum relatively recently at least in activist circles. Oct 22, 2019 at 20:12
  • 2
    @sinopleincandescent your edit was perfect, merci. Oct 22, 2019 at 20:51
  • 1
    Whatever the word may mean, that English translation is really, really bad. And Google translate is not at all reliable. racial exclusion or racialized exclusion (sociology). The advertisement was taken down by Twitter because it was poorly written and misunderstood. The tweeter meant: exclusion raciale ou raciste.
    – Lambie
    Oct 22, 2019 at 22:14
  • As a side remark, as open it may seem (and I totally get it is an example of positive discrimination), this classified ad could be considered illegal. I mean if you turn it upside down it becomes very obvious: "Priority is given to white and heterosexual people" is obviously illegal, in France and Belgium at least.
    – Laurent S.
    Oct 23, 2019 at 16:01

3 Answers 3


The short answer is: someone who is a potential victim of racism, who is part of a group that is commonly discriminated against.

The long answer is difficult to write because this is a fairly recent expression, with a heavy cultural context. My answer is exclusively about France, I have no idea how or even whether this word is used elsewhere.

The word racisation was coined by French sociologist Colette Guillaumin in the early 1970s. (The first occurrence on Google Books is from 1978 but Google doesn't have the earliest uses.) It designates the sociological process by which certain people tend to find themselves victims of discrimination because they are members of a minority group. The concept is not limited to what is commonly called race in French or race in English today, which tends to focus on skin color.

The suffix -ation is a common noun formation suffix, starting from a verb ending in -er. The suffix -iser is a common verb formation suffix designating a transformation process of some kind. Thus raciser would be the process of transforming a social structure into one that involves a concept of race, and racisation would be the noun for this process. However, as far as I know, the noun racisation appeared before the verb raciser which hasn't really taken off. Given that the suffix -ation is very productive, this is unexceptional.

The adjective racisé (which would be the past participle of raciser) is a more recent addition to French. Its history is fairly well covered in the French Wikipedia article on racialisation. I think some activist groups started using it in the late 2000s or early 2010s, and it started to reach somewhat mainstream use in the late 2010s. To give an idea of its spread, the Wiktionary article was created in July 2016, and the reference dictionary Le Petit Robert added it in its 2018 edition.

Exactly which groups count as racisé depend on who you ask. Women don't: a woman who is a victim of racism would be une femme racisée. LGBT+ don't either, at least with most people who use the term. Groups that focus on certain specific discriminations may or may not get on with groups that focus on other discriminations.

The political context of racisé is that until 2017–2018, it was essentially only used by groups that have a racialized approach to discrimination issues: (certain) minorities must form autonomous groups that make their own struggle against the majority group. This is relatively unusual in the French political tradition. The history of struggle against discrimination in France is dominated by an egalitarian approach: I may look different, eat different food, have a different accent, but I'm a human being and a citizen just like you and you should treat me the same way, give me the same education, let me have the same jobs and live in the same places. Positive discrimination (which is how most French people perceive affirmative action) is not an established concept in France (apart from gender equality, and even that is recent). Minorities have traditionally sought integration, and left-wing political groups have traditionally promoted integration and joint struggle.

In the 2010s, there has been a rise of groups of minorities promoting a communitarian approach (communautariste). Such groups entered the news in 2017 with reports of meetings that were only open to members of certain visible minorities. This has met some backlash from other groups that defend the rights of minorities but oppose racial discrimination whether negative or positive. In 2017, using the word racisé labeled you as a member of a visible minority who rejected the French tradition of integration and promoted what many would consider as a racist approach, and labeled you as a political activist.

The connotations of the word are evolving rapidly. In 2019, merely using it is not such a strong political marker as is was even two years ago. It's entirely possible that the author of this tweet is not involved in politics. It's still an age marker; I suspect that it's fairly common among people who are students in the late 2010s but a lot less common among older people.

  • What is a racialized approach to non-discrimination? What is positive discrimination? The definition by that French sociologist would be exactly the same thing in English. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racialization
    – Lambie
    Oct 22, 2019 at 22:54
  • @Lambie Yeah, that sentence was weird. I've reformulated the paragraph. Oct 22, 2019 at 23:08

Racisé is an activist term that is not commonly used in France and subject to controversies. Google translate gives a word for word translation into English and the English word "racialized" might be more used in the US than racisé in France.
The definition of racisé given by the Ligue des droits et libertés (Quebec Civil Liberties Union) says a person racisée is someone who is discriminated against because of their race, gender or religion. But obviously in this add it only means people discriminated by race since they feel the need to differentiate "racisé" and "LGBTI". A better way to word it would have been to write personnes appartenant à une minorité ethnique ou LGBTI.

  • racilaized is most definitely not used in the US, except to mean to make something a racial issue. And Villejuif is in France, outside of Paris, and the place is for rent in euros. Do you mean: discriminated against? Apparently, it has been deleted but you can still see it here, if you scroll down the page: twitter.com/dontdierobb?lang=en
    – Lambie
    Oct 22, 2019 at 22:09
  • @Lambie Thanks for pointing out about my misuse of discrimnated. Is it better now? I've toned down about the US, but I have met the word a lot more in Am. texts than in French texts. I do not understand your remark about Villejuif being in France... Of course it is in France near Paris and I expect the OP knows, there's no need to specify it in the question.
    – None
    Oct 22, 2019 at 22:18
  • Excuse me, Laure. The word racialized is not often used in American English. And when it is, it is usually sociological. As in racialized crime control, for example. Pesonally, I have never seen it except to mean something that is made into a racial issue, and very rarely at that. It would never, ever be used in an ad. blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2018/06/15/… racialized politics. And I expect the same usage in sociology in France.
    – Lambie
    Oct 22, 2019 at 22:20
  • @Lambie I don't think saying "it might be more used in the US" means it is "often used", it only means racisé is less used in French than "racialized" in the US.
    – None
    Oct 22, 2019 at 22:24
  • 1
    I think you are wrong. I live in the US, I do tons of reading, and I have only ever seen it in very specialized type texts just as I would expect to see it in similar French texts: laviedesidees.fr/Race-et-intersectionnalite.html groupes racisés, for example. There is no reason to believe it is more frequent in the US except for the fact the US is much bigger than France and has problably done more formal studies on racialized issues due to having more institutions quantitatively speaking. I see no problem using it like that.
    – Lambie
    Oct 22, 2019 at 22:30

This word is obtained from the word "racisation". Following the wiktionnaire three senses can be found for it. A short explanation of the relevant one (2.) is given below.

In this particular case where essentially skin colour is not in question (those LGBT people for whom the add is intended could be of any racial group), "racisé" means "treated by at least one part of the community (social system and/or population) as if constituting a race, and at that, a race not well integrated in the system, rather rejected". In other words these groups of people qualified as "racisés" are made to suffer in a similar way as that caused by what's been known for a long time as plain racism.

The Following opinion about this new term (racisation, racisé) is interesting (encyclopédie libre).

  • Sarah-Jane Fouda, spécialiste de la communication et enseignante à l'université Paris-III Sorbonne-Nouvelle, classe le substantif « racisé » comme un élément de la « novlangue » des « dévots de la race », qui l'emploient dans le cadre d'un discours où toute personne non-blanche est considérée comme étant, par essence, victime de racisme : « À l’origine, un concept sociologique, utile à l’étude du racisme structurel mais qui, une fois entré dans la novlangue ordinaire, brille de sa nouvelle indigence (...) De fait, dans sa nouvelle acception, le mot ne renvoie plus au processus de racisation mais réduit la personne à une identité fixe, à « l’être racisé.e ». Autrement dit, on ne se fait pas raciser, on est un ou une racisé.e ».
  • racialized exclusion or racial exclusion, yes. And yes, sociology, basically. Not for use in advertisements for roommates.
    – Lambie
    Oct 22, 2019 at 22:27
  • Mais les comportements racistes persistent, des formes les plus graves (agressions, contrôles au faciès, restrictions à l’accès au logement, à l’emploi, à la santé) aux micro-agressions quotidiennes (plaisanteries, regards), à première vue plus bénignes, mais qui maintiennent les populations racisées à distance, en position d’infériorité. Par exemple. laviedesidees.fr/Race-et-intersectionnalite.html sociologie et compagnie
    – Lambie
    Oct 22, 2019 at 22:43
  • @Lambie "Not for use in advertisements for roommates." – I don't agree with you, although I know that my opinions in that domain go against the grain : according to what I feel is right you should be free to dispose of your property as you see fit, have the right to choose whom you are going to advantage and whatever else, and along that line of thinking, you are allowed to go even a step further, and restrict the lot of the sollicited people in such an advertisement, to only LGBT people; this is counter current thinking , specially as then tags such as "white only" are fully legitimate.
    – LPH
    Oct 23, 2019 at 5:49
  • First, getting a roommate is not about "disposing of property". This is a rental. Of course, you can rent to whomever you like. But I would not use the word racialized myself in an advertisement in AmE. It turns out that in Ontario, Canada, it is a politically correct word in fact. I learned that and posted the link above. And if you are "disposing of property" which means selling it, you can't restrict your sale to any particular group of people.
    – Lambie
    Oct 23, 2019 at 15:35
  • @Lambie No, I didnt mean "getting rid of property", but "dealing with property in a profitable way (renting, lifetime annuities)"; I guess some other word than "dispose" is needed. Also, concerning renting, I assumed the French principle that the tenant is considered as being an owner of whatever place he pays a rent for and as such he/she is requiresd to contract an insurance policy for the place.
    – LPH
    Oct 23, 2019 at 16:01

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