Analyse sociologique

Revue

Institutions - Société, modes de vie

A Trend Survey of French Values: More Personal Freedom, More Demands in the Collective Sphere

For more than 35 years Futuribles has shown an interest in the evolution of value systems and the study of their transformation, regularly reporting the findings of the surveys carried out every 9-10 years as part of the European Values Study. The latest wave of such surveys was carried out in 2017-18 and Pierre Bréchon outlines the first lessons from these as they relate to France.

In the context of social crisis that has beset the country since November 2018, the long-term analysis Pierre Bréchon provides here on the evolution of French values with regard to lives and society, brings useful perspective. Without disputing the difficulties they may encounter in everyday life (in terms of incomes, jobs etc.), Bréchon stresses that, judging by the latest surveys, society is not in danger of falling apart in France, the values of tolerance and respect for others continue to advance, and happiness levels are as high as before and remain stable etc. Individualization continues to increase, attachment to the protective state remains as it was, political involvement is stable and religion still steadily in decline. However, the attitude to democracy is more complex and the demand for public order remains high. Though these last two points suggest that a certain vigilance is required to maintain French attachment to democracy and France’s political institutions, the results of the 2017-18 surveys run counter, more generally, to the ambient pessimism.

Bibliography

Population - Société, modes de vie

Les Nouvelles Lois de l’amour. Sexualité, couple et rencontres au temps du numérique

Les Nouvelles Lois de l’amour. Sexualité, couple et rencontres au temps du numérique

Dans Les Nouvelles Lois de l’amour, Marie Bergström propose une étude approfondie des applications de rencontres hétérosexuelles (p. 18) pour aller au-delà des voix médiatiques et sensationnalistes dominantes sur la question. Ces dernières affirment en effet que ces applications auraient profondément transformé le jeu amoureux en y introduisant des logiques économiques et des méthodes algorithmiques froides, désincarnées. La rencontre serait devenue un produit comme un autre, les rapports sexuels banalisés et surtout cette nouvelle ère des relations signeraient la ...

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Société, modes de vie

Les Enfants de la société liquide

Les Enfants de la société liquide

Ce livre avait tout pour plaire : un titre accrocheur, un éditeur sérieux et l’un de ses deux auteurs mondialement connu. Lecture faite, la déception est grande. L’ensemble est superficiel, hétéroclite, complaisant et balloté par l’air du temps. Pour comprendre ce ratage, quelques détours s’imposent.  Zygmunt Bauman enseigna la sociologie à Varsovie avant de rejoindre l’université de Leeds, en 1971, où il développa une pensée de l’émancipation humaine inspirée de Simmel, Gramsci et Arendt. Également ...

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Bibliography

Institutions - Société, modes de vie

Les Transformations culturelles. Comment les valeurs des individus bouleversent le monde ?

Les Transformations culturelles. Comment les valeurs des individus bouleversent le monde ?

Voir l’analyse détaillée de cet ouvrage par Pierre Bréchon dans le numéro 428 (janvier-février 2019) de la revue Futuribles.

Revue

Institutions - Société, modes de vie

The Evolution of Values: On Ronald Inglehart’s “Cultural Evolution: People’s Motivations are Changing, and Reshaping the World”

This is a review of the latest of Ronald Inglehart’s books to be translated into French and a look at how his theory on the rise of post-materialism has evolved over the past 50 years. According to that theory, first developed in the early 1970s, generational renewal was going to lead almost mechanically to an advancement of post-materialist values (quality of life, personal fulfilment, democratic participation) to the detriment of the materialist values (order, security, economic growth) that previous generations were allegedly far more attached to. This theory is tested here against a very large number of surveys conducted worldwide which show, among other things, that the rise of post-materialist values has stalled as economic growth has slowed, that an overwhelming majority of individuals now subscribe to mixed values, and that these findings reveal the need to conceive the defining lines of these works of Inglehart’s differently.

However, above and beyond these critical thoughts on post-materialist theory, several major trends in socio-cultural evolution are presented here: for example, a rise in secular values but also in strong religious belief; a relaxation of morals and even more clearly a “feminization of society”; a rising sense of happiness and of adherence to democracy… None of this, however, excludes either the rise of populist or fascist movements or a rebellion on the part of the humblest strata of society against the richest 1%. Pierre Bréchon, as an expert in values studies, adds his voice to that of Ronald Inglehart to point out the strengths and limitations of surveys of this kind.

Revue

Entreprises, travail - Société, modes de vie

The Evolution of Work: Exploit, Industry and Honour. A Long-Run International Analysis

Constantly running beneath recent debates on the effects of robotization on employment (how many non-automated jobs will there be?) is the question whether modern societies are able to offer everyone a full-time job. Does working time necessarily diminish with technological progress and economic development? It is in order to answer this question that Jonathan Gershuny and Kimberly Fisher have studied the results of surveys on individual workers’ hours in 16 countries over the last five decades. In this article, they describe the trends that emerge with regard to work in the broader sense.

After looking back over the way aspirations and relations to work and leisure have changed since the 19th century (drawing mainly on Veblen’s theories), Gershuny and Fisher present the various surveys that underpin their analysis and describe their methodology. They then identify a number of major trends: a degree of historical constancy and similarity between countries over the last 55 years in terms of the time devoted to (paid + unpaid) work; a convergence in the trends among male and female workers and near parity between the sexes as far as time devoted to all (paid + unpaid) work is concerned; an apparent historic levelling-off of working hours around eight-and-a-half hours per day; and a reversal in the human-capital-related work-leisure gradient (the better educated now work more), which the authors associate with a growth in “exploit” as opposed to “industry” (to use Veblen’s terminology) within paid work in early 21st century societies.

Note de veille

Société, modes de vie - Territoires, réseaux

Désinformation, “fake news” et réseaux sociaux

Qu’y a-t-il de commun entre un gouverneur qui mobilise la garde nationale pour contrecarrer un coup d’État aux États-Unis, un justicier solitaire armé qui pénètre dans une pizzeria et une mobilisation populaire contre la proposition d’un sénateur italien ? Ne cherchez pas : ce sont les réseaux sociaux qui avaient propagé des nouvelles mensongères. Une manœuvre militaire interprétée comme une tentative de coup d’État de la Maison Blanche dans un cas, une affaire supposée de pédophilie à laquelle ...

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Économie, emploi - Société, modes de vie

La France des inégalités. Réalités et perceptions

La France des inégalités. Réalités et perceptions

Cet ouvrage présente 21 chapitres denses qui analysent les différentes facettes de la même enquête quantitative — baptisée Dynegal — qui vient compléter une précédente recherche [1]. Les principaux sociologues, politologues, économistes qui, en France, travaillent sur les inégalités s’expriment dans ce très riche ouvrage, qui présente aussi, en annexe, l’ensemble des réponses aux questions posées dans l’enquête. L’objectif était de mieux comprendre les dynamiques de l’opinion publique. Au-delà du statut social et des revenus, quels sont ...

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Recherche, sciences, techniques - Territoires, réseaux

Réseaux, libertés et contrôle. Une généalogie politique d’Internet

Réseaux, libertés et contrôle. Une généalogie politique d’Internet

Peu d’ouvrages en français se sont intéressés à l’histoire du Net. Il faut dire que le sujet peut sembler aride et passablement complexe. Si les légendes autour d’Internet sont plutôt connues, Arpanet, Tim Berners-Lee, etc., l’ensemble de la « généalogie d’Internet », pour reprendre partiellement le sous-titre de l’ouvrage, s’avère bien moins connu. S’attaquer à ce pan de l’histoire des télécommunications aussi bien que de la vie quotidienne de tout un chacun était ...

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Société, modes de vie

La Fabrique du conformisme

La Fabrique du conformisme

Dans son dernier essai, Éric Maurin, auteur régulier d’ouvrages marquants et commentés (L’Égalité des possibles en 2002, Le Ghetto français en 2004, La Peur du déclassement en 2009 [1]), s’attaque au sujet du conformisme, de sa « fabrication » et de ses effets. En fait, l’ouvrage vaut surtout par la recension à la fois pédagogique et intelligente d’excellentes études menées tant en France qu’à l’étranger, qui concernent des champs variés allant du marché du travail ...

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Entreprises, travail - Société, modes de vie

L’Âge du faire

Voilà un livre qui tranche par son originalité et son sérieux. L’auteur est bien connu pour ses travaux nombreux et rigoureux consacrés au travail. Titulaire de la chaire d’Analyse sociologique du travail, de l’emploi et des organisations du Conservatoire national des arts et métiers (CNAM), il est notamment l’auteur, en 2007, d’un remarquable ouvrage intitulé Le Travail. Une sociologie contemporaine [1]. Mais il s’agit ici d’autre chose. Rompant délibérément avec le nombre impressionnant ...

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Revue

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement - Société, modes de vie

Towards Sustainable Lifestyles. A Variety of Lifestyles for a Single Ambition: Post-carbon Society

In 2009 a programme –“Re-thinking Society in a Post-carbon Society”– steered jointly by the Foresight Department of the French Ecology Ministry and the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), was launched in France. It is still ongoing and aims to produce a final report in 2013. The idea of a transition towards a “post-carbon” society includes four main objectives: reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to one quarter of what they were in 1990; near-autonomy with regard to carbon energies (petrol, gas, coal); an adequate capacity to adapt to climate change and, lastly, greater attention to situations of “energy precariousness”.

As part of the dossier Futuribles is devoting to this programme this month, Andreas Huber, Sébastien Girard and Pierre Le Marre lay out in this article the results of the studies they have carried out on “sustainable urban milieus”. After a presentation of the notion of “milieu” (based here on a segmentation using the Socio-milieus® method) and of the typology employed (nine main social milieus, three emergent milieus and 16 contrasting profiles), the authors show the extent to which individuals’ carbon footprints vary, depending upon lifestyles, and what a determining effect these lifestyles have in the fields of housing and transport. They then specify the various factors influencing behaviour in the direction of sustainable consumption (or not) and the different types of strategies of intervention that are likely to modify those behaviours. Lastly, they detail two targeted strategies, one aimed at the “precarious seniors” milieu and the other at the “eco-elite” milieu. Despite certain imperfections that remain to be sorted out in the study of sustainable urban milieus, these studies open up new perspectives for the development of sociologically targeted policies for a post-carbon transition.

Revue

Recherche, sciences, techniques - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement - Société, modes de vie

GMOs: The European View

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are undeniably one of those subjects that do not provoke remotely the same reactions in North America as in Europe. Whereas the growing of GM crops is highly developed in the USA and arouses little or no controversy within American public opinion, this is an area in which Europeans are very cautious and even genuinely distrustful. As Daniel Boy shows in this article, drawing on Eurobarometer surveys of European citizens carried out over 15 years or so, there has never been a majority in the EU in favour of the development of GMOs for food production and, between 1996 and 2010, the proportion of those reluctant to see such a development actually increased. Above and beyond this general finding of a clear, sustained opposition among Europeans to GMOs in food, Boy shows the disparities that exist between the various European countries and presents reasons that may account for these differences.

Boy goes on to study the structure of European opinion in this field by sex, age and socio-professional category of the respondents, by their degree of “socialization” to science and their level of informedness. He also notes the importance of the level of knowledge of – and familiarization with – science in the attitude towards genetically modified foodstuffs. Lastly, Boy compares the attitudes of Europeans to GM foods with attitudes around animal cloning and the nanotechnologies, showing the great specificity of GMOs, which have been very distinctly and probably lastingly rejected (like animal cloning), thus blocking the development of this technological innovation in Europe. He nonetheless stresses that attitudes towards other innovations (such as nanotechnologies) in no way point towards similar failures in the future.

Revue

Société, modes de vie

A Re-Reading of the March of History: On Igor M. Diakonoff’s The Paths of History

When one practices, or is interested in, foresight studies, it is helpful to have a good understanding of the past and, more generally, a clear vision of the way societies have developed over a long period. It is not, however, easy to decipher the historical process and it may appear difficult to add anything whatever to what has already been written by Hegel, Marx and many others on universal history. That is, however, what a Russian orientalist, Igor Diakonoff, has attempted in a book which appeared in Russia in 1994 and was translated into English five years later as The Paths of History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).
Bernard Cazes has read this highly original work with great interest. Alongside an account of the atypical career of its Russian author, he presents Diakonoff’s re-reading of history here, driven as it is by the desire to establish whether certain non-material (in Marx’s sense) aspects, present in certain civilizations, were not found elsewhere. Diakonoff proposes a break-down of universal history into eight phases, the originality of this lying largely in the transition mechanism from one phase to another. This is based mainly on psycho-sociological (changes of values, for example) and technological factors (particularly in the field of armaments). Lastly, Cazes highlights the author’s comments on the finitude of our planet and his warning against the risks of extinction facing the human species in the relatively short term if nothing is done to check the course of history seen in its current, eighth, “post-capitalist” phase.

Revue

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement - Société, modes de vie

Climate Scepticism: Reflections on a Category Error

By the time this issue of Futuribles comes out, the now traditional international conference on climate change, planned for 28 November–9 December 2011, will have begun in Durban where the different nations will again attempt to agree to a series of measures aimed at curbing the warming of our planet. It is far from certain they will succeed in doing so, despite a diagnosis – recognizing global warming and its anthropogenic origins – that is shared almost unanimously by the scientific community. We say “almost” since a few scattered individuals – the so-called “climate sceptics” – still dispute the fact that climate change is happening. Futuribles has already (in March 2005) devoted a long “Forum” section to one of the emblematic figures of this tendency, Bjørn Lomborg. We return to the theme today by way of the analysis of Antonin Pottier, who examines the socio-psychological mechanisms underlying the climate-sceptical position.
Pottier distinguishes between two elements in the debate on climate change: a “diagnostic” component, including the observation of the warming of the planet, its causes (the emission of greenhouse gases) and its possible consequences (a scenario tending towards large-scale climatic upheavals), and a “prescriptive” part which, taking account of the diagnosis, proposes political measures and relates not to scientific observations but to a moral evaluation of the situation. After reminding us of what “fuels” the debate (the element of uncertainty which, Pottier argues, can relate only to the vision of the likely future that emerges from the observation of the facts, not to the description of the facts observed), he shows us that climate-sceptical arguments arise out of a confusion between diagnosis and prescription: it is because they reject the need for, or the content of, climate policies that they come to deny the scientific reality of climate change, shifting the ground of the debate and veering deeper into error. This posture is all the more harmful for being widely echoed in the media, tending to add a touch more confusion to the information available to the public: “Citizens’ perceptions of contemporary issues are skewed in favour of those interests that would be seriously impacted by a campaign against greenhouse emissions.”

Analyse prospective

Éducation - Société, modes de vie

Le « déclassement en France » : concept bigarré et angoisse prononcée

Un spectre hante la société française : le « déclassement ». Le concept est assez riche pour désigner des phénomènes différents, mais convergents, et pour appeler, en raison de sa relative nouveauté, une réflexion innovante sur un État providence que l’on dit incapable d’assurer ce qu’il promettait : une certaine sécurité de destin. Il existe maintenant autour du déclassement une littérature et des controverses spécialisées. Des débats techniques portent sur la définition, la nature et l’ampleur du phénomène. Des polémiques ...

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CR table ronde

Éducation

L’angoisse des jeunes Français

Le point de départ de l’ouvrage Les Jeunes Français ont-ils raison d’avoir peur ? a été le constat, fait par Olivier Galland, d’un profond pessimisme des jeunes Français. Cette idée est ressortie, par exemple, d’une récente enquête de Fondapol, selon laquelle les jeunes Français figurent parmi les plus fatalistes et les plus résignés en Europe. Ils expriment aussi souvent le sentiment de ne pas pouvoir maîtriser leur destin personnel. Comment expliquer ce pessimisme des jeunes Français ? Olivier ...

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CR intervention d'expert

Société, modes de vie

Valeurs et modes de vie : les grandes tendances d’évolution

Jean-François Tchernia : "Je vous parlerai tout d’abord de l’étude des valeurs, de la façon dont on peut les connaître, et je vous présenterai plus précisément l’étude EVS (European Value Survey), programme qui existe déjà depuis 25 ans. Ensuite, je passerai à l’analyse de l’évolution des valeurs, aujourd’hui en Europe, telle qu’on peut la faire en s’appuyant sur le matériel d’étude d’EVS. Je brosserai tout cela à partir de quelques grands ...

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CR table ronde

Société, modes de vie

La société française : état des lieux et perspectives

Henri Mendras, au siège de l'association Futuribles International, a pour l'essentiel présenté les grands traits de son dernier essai, La France que je vois. Fruit du travail de 20 années à l'Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques (OFCE), en particulier avec l'équipe Louis Dirn, cet ouvrage revient sur l'ensemble des tendances décelées et donne à leur endroit le sentiment de l'auteur (sur un ton plus personnel que ne l'est la seule matrice Louis Dirn ...

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Forum

À propos de l’unification allemande

We published an article by Rémi Lallement in Futuribles (November 1998, n° 236), titled "The Economy of the Eastern German Lander: a Unique Trajectory". It sketched a first evaluation of German unification and the mid- and long-term perspectives for the former Democratic Republic, nine years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
To complement that article, which developed mainly an economic perspective, a German sociologist shares with us his observation that two distinct societies persist within the united Germany, with bitterness on both sides in spite of efforts by the former Federal Republic.