The 1980s witnessed the emergence of a new and distinctive group, 'les Beurs', who came to prominence in the context of rising racial tensions in France, and the centrality of debates about immigration, integration, assimilation, the right to difference, etc. in French political life in the period 1980 to the present. The author discusses some key questions and the term 'Beur' itself as a new ethnonym associated with a generation of young men and women with their own specific cultural identity different from that of their North African parents as well as from that of their peers of European descent. Democratic involvement on the part of the French Republic, with the aim to achieve at least some assimilation of 'Beurs' to the French society, is thus a political challenge. New national and confessional dimensions in the Republic's life are necessary in the light of the cultural difference or separation of 'Beurs' from French culture.