This paper aims to shed light on the problem of identity and belonging among French youth of Arab and Muslim descent. It aims to trace, as much as possible, the psychosocial factors that lead some to "reject" French identity, and instead promote their ethnic identity, thereby putting their relationship with French society in a position of confrontation with their assumed identity. This paper assumes that ethnic self-identification (choice of ethnic identity) has neither to do with the individual’s desire for social integration nor with introverted identity, but is rather a defensive strategy to resist the assimilation policies imposed by France on immigrants and their offspring. This paper also assumes that young people do not refuse to integrate into French society, but only refuse to identify exclusively with it – violent behaviors are an expression of this refusal. This research suggests that mechanisms of “integration” and social adaptation can be differentiated from mechanisms of full assimilation into French society.