The concept of mixité sociale has progressively been considered as an antidote to segregation processes in the contemporary urban policies. Reviewing the French debate on the issue, the article shows some critical aspects related to the category of mixité. On the one hand, the article highlights premises at the basis of the discourses on mixité concerning the effects of segregation and spatial proximity among heterogeneous groups. On the other, social diversity will be analysed as a category of public action, underlining some contradictory effects of mixité sociale in French urban policies. Finally, the article refers to the processes of social construction of mixité in gentrified areas with the aim of showing the ways in which the concept is renegotiated in the daily-life practices.
Keywords: Social Mix, Segregation, Proximity, Cohesion, Politique de la Ville, Gentrification.