Société, modes de vie
Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
There is a steadily growing sense of insecurity in France. Consequently the problems of rising crime rates, especially offences committed by young people, are often headline news and are a key issue in political debates, especially in the run-up to major elections.
But what is the 'true' position with regard to the number of delinquents and recorded crimes? Lorraine Tournyol du Clos describes the sources of information available, their good and bad points, and lastly the great difficulties we face in trying to answer these questions properly.
The figures vary widely, depending on whether the source is self-confessed law-breaking, surveys of victims of crime, police statistics or data on court verdicts, since each measures something different. Lastly, the author stresses, we do not really know how many delinquents there are, the numbers and nature of the crimes committed, and even less how the trends change over the long term.
It seems likely that crime is on the increase. But we should treat with caution the numbers being bandied about, their treatment in the media and the use made of them for political ends.
On the basis of surveys of self-confessed young law-breakers in France, Sebastian Roché confirms the view that there is a "hard core" of delinquents (which he prefers to label "overactive"): "Roughly 5% of young people are responsible for between 50% and 80% of the recorded crimes, depending on the level of seriousness of the offences. Roughly 5% of young people who break the law (whether or not they are caught by the police) commit between 30% and 60% of the total number of offences."
Roché sets out to sketch a portrait of these exceptionally delinquent young people. They tend to be male, both French and foreign, and they come from both middle-class and working-class backgrounds. They go round in gangs with friends and siblings; the level of offending increases between the ages of 13 and 17, but then declines again.
Next Roché seeks to explain their behavior, and examines what the delinquents gain from their activities and from the tyranny they wield in order to mark their territory, in the suburbs and elsewhere.
Then, having looked at the ways that young offenders can sort themselves out, the author states his own views about the policies most likely to reduce levels of delinquency. His conclusion is clear: what is needed instead of sermons is heavy sentencing to make good the damage done as soon as possible. For this, reforms will be required, especially with regard to local policing, but are unlikely to happen before the forthcoming presidential elections in France. What then?
In this article, Lorraine Tournyol du Clos provides a brilliant survey of the main theories that have been put forward up till now to explain the causes and the mechanisms behind delinquency. She distinguishes between the "classic" theories (which in her view focus on a single type of delinquency and offer a single explanatory factor) and the more recent ones which, combining the findings of earlier theories and taking account of the interaction among the different factors, try to arrive at a better understanding of the phenomena of delinquency.
Among the "classic" theories she distinguishes:
- the biological theories, which consider that delinquent behavior can be explained by the physical and psychological characteristics of the guilty person, and the sociological theories, which focus more on the person's background and on factors like poverty and social inequality or social norms and a failed socialization;
- the economic theories of criminal behavior, which differ from the previous group in that they assume that the person acted freely and was responsible for their actions; their choices can be analyzed in terms of various criteria, which she outlines.
Among the "integrated" theories of criminal behavior, she identifies the sociological ones as against those derived from classical economics, and gives a thumbnail sketch of their main features.
The author concludes with an overview of the causes and interpretations of criminal behavior, distinguishing between immediate and deeper causes, and ending with a general synthesis of all these studies.
Is the shift from the traditional model of the family, based on respect for acknowledged status and norms of behavior, to a more open, "contractual" model in which individuals act according to their feelings on the basis of rules that are both negotiable and revocable -in short, families that are more precarious- one reason for the instability of children who have no points of reference and are therefore more likely to become delinquents?
No, is basically the answer given by Vincent Tournier: the relationship between parents and children is much more important than the make-up of the family -what matters is how close they are emotionally and the degree of parental supervision. Moreover, the latter is not correlated with social class (though an urban, rather than rural setting, is indeed a significant factor) but much more with the level of education and -even more- with parental values.
Can one then blame the growth in delinquency on permissive parents who were themselves young in the 1960s? Perhaps, Tournier acknowledges, but the situation is changing. Contrary to an unfortunate tradition in France, we need urgently to recognize the critical role of parents in bringing up their children, and it is possible to hope that, as parents become better educated, they will also act more responsibly in this regard.
Fear about rising crime is one of the key issues in the current campaign for the French presidency and a topic that generates passionate debate in the other major democracies. Why is this?
In France, according to Sebastian Roché, there is too often a tendency to accuse the general public of being irrational and of feeling more insecure than is in fact warranted, and this despite the fact that the level of crime has risen substantially over the last twenty years. Criticisms of such feelings often serve simply to disguise the reality.
After giving various international comparative data on delinquency, showing that France is roughly at the midpoint in the European league table, he laments the inadequacy of the statistics on delinquency and stresses the relevance of studies carried by a team at the University of Grenoble which conducted the first large-scale survey of self-confessed law-breaking (presented elsewhere in this issue of Futuribles). He stresses the importance of getting those who commit these crimes to talk, to seek a better understanding of these phenomena, in order then to ensure that public policies in this area match their goals.
En exergue à son intervention au siège de Futuribles International, Jean-François Mayer a voulu insister sur le fait qu'il s'intéressait à tout ce qui regarde les interactions entre les facteurs politiques et religieux. Il ne prétend pas être originellement ni exclusivement spécialiste ddes fondamentalismes, même si, à l'occasion des évènements du 11 septembre 2001 et de l'afflux subséquent de demandes d'expertise et d'opinions, il s'est trouvé une fois de plus sollicité pour s ...
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Au sein de la Rand Corporation, principale organisation de recherche privée américaine sur les problèmes géopolitiques, stratégiques et de défense comptant 1 500 personnes, dont 800 chercheurs, Laurent Murawiec se consacre essentiellement à l'application de l'anthropologie à la stratégie.Venu présenter au sein de l'association Futuribles International son dernier ouvrage, le premier tome de L'Esprit des nations, il a insisté toutefois sur le fait que c'est indépendamment de la Rand Corporation qu'il l'a ...
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Cet article examine les relations entre prospective technologique et politique régionale, en vue d'améliorer la compétitivité et la capacité de croissance des pays. Selon l'auteur, le développement économique est fortement lié aux avancées technologiques, elles-mêmes tributaires de facteurs nationaux mais aussi régionaux. De fait, pour améliorer la compétitivité d'un pays, il faut élargir le champ de la prospective technologique, faire en sorte que celle-ci affine son analyse des différents facteurs qui influent sur une spécialisation régionale (par ...
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The concept of partnership is, like governance, fashionable at the moment. It seems to meet a need for a thorough overhaul of the methods (institutions and procedures) of public management, which in turn results from what some refer to as 'the crisis of the state'.
Especially in the area of social protection, which used to be dominated by 'paritarisme' (equal representation, especially of the 'social partners'), partnerships are increasingly being fostered between public authorities at various levels (the products in part of efforts to devolve power away from the central administration) and institutions representing civil society to a greater or lesser extent: trade unions, of course, but also a whole series of new players, in particular voluntary organizations, whose claims to be representative need to be kept under scrutiny.
Julien Damon describes how this process is developing in France, and questions its raison d'être, its benefits and drawbacks, including the risk that it will lead to the gradual dismantling of the responsibilities that properly belong to the state, a distortion and dilution of the concept of the public good, even institutional arrangements of questionable legitimacy. In doing this he touches on the problem of a style of governance that, in the guise of promoting greater closeness to the governed, might lead to institutional confusion, carrying with it threats to both democracy and the efficacy of the policies for which, in his view, the state should continue to be primarily responsible.
Depuis 1997, la croissance plus forte de l'économie française est aussi plus riche en emplois. Une telle évolution, synonyme d'une décélération des gains de productivité, pourrait être préoccupante si elle affectait la compétitivité. Cependant, dans le secteur manufacturier, particulièrement exposé à la concurrence internationale, les gains de productivité apparaissent réguliers depuis les années 1970 ; les comparaisons effectuées par rapport à l'Allemagne, au Royaume-Uni et à l'Espagne indiquent la particularité française à cet égard. La politique macroéconomique ...
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En quarante ans, la dépense de consommation par habitant a été multipliée par 2,7 en monnaie constante. L'environnement du consommateur a changé : l'extension de la grande distribution, l'évolution des modes de vie, l'apparition de nouveaux produits ont modifié les comportements de consommation. La perte de vitesse des dépenses traditionnelles a été pour partie compensée par le dynamisme des produits à haute technologie. Ils ont pris le relais des appareils électroménagers, désormais largement diffusés. Néanmoins, la ...
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L'effondrement de la « bulle Internet » a rendu les investisseurs et les concepteurs si prudents qu'ils n'osent plus mettre en avant les inventions récentes qui, pourtant, vont révolutionner le monde des nouvelles technologies de l'information, selon Howard Rheingold. Celles-ci sont plus que des nouveaux gadgets ou logiciels, mais plutôt l'équivalent de la création des moteurs de recherche, qui ont permis le décollement du réseau des réseaux. Et elles se traduiront, annonce l'auteur, par un nouveau ...
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La société française est-elle en train de devenir résolument casanière ? C'est l'impression que donne L'Observateur Cetelem 2002, qui s'intéresse aux rapports que les Français entretiennent avec leur maison, miroir de la société et reflet des aspirations individuelles et familiales. Pour 86 % des personnes interrogées, la maison a « beaucoup d'importance » (90 % des femmes et 83 % des hommes). Environ 38 % déclarent même y attacher de plus en plus d'importance. De nombreux facteurs peuvent expliquer cette tendance ...
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Le rapport présente une vision à la fois internationale et régionale de la situation agricole et de son évolution. Outre de nombreux tableaux statistiques concernant la production et le commerce de produits agricoles, des questions d'actualité sont sélectionnées chaque année et commentées plus en détail. Dans cette édition, un chapitre particulier a été consacré au rôle de l'agriculture et de la terre dans la fourniture de biens collectifs mondiaux, et un autre au thème du piégeage du carbone ...
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En se basant sur une enquête nationale conduite de 1995 à 2000, les auteurs brossent un tableau riche et nuancé de l'utilisation d'Internet aux États-Unis. Ils étudient l'impact de cette technologie dans trois perspectives : la question de l'accès (le « fossé numérique »), la création de communautés virtuelles et l'utilisation d'Internet pour l'expression de soi et les relations sociales. Pour une vue plus large, ils proposent une comparaison avec d'autres médias et incluent les ...
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Walo Hutmacher stresses the need for a methodology to underpin a rigorous study of the future of education, especially with regard to the issue of values and citizenship, which is closely linked to potential developments in science and technology, as well as in political, economic and social organization at global level.
In the absence of such a methodology, Hutmacher sets out to identify some key trends in current developments and to analyse their possible impact on education systems. He discusses in particular the new ethical issues raised by scientific progress, the consequences of globalization and the decline of the nation-state, as well as the significance of the new youth cultures.
Finally, he looks critically at what is currently happening in schools, above all the gulf between preaching and practice. Yet for all its faults, he argues that the model of state education should be the policy model for 2020, given the important social functions that it provides, especially if it is able to satisfy certain key conditions for bringing about essential reforms.
This text was originally published in the magazine Lectures pour tous in 1912, and it shows that France was then still obsessed with the need to be self-sufficient in food, several decades after Méline's first term as Minister of Agriculture (1883-1885, also 1915-1916), he being one of the main proponents of protectionism.
How was France to produce enough wheat to meet its domestic needs (the average annual per capita consumption was 240 kilos in 1911), and at a price consumers could afford, when harvests could vary enormously from year to year? When there was a poor harvest, wheat was scarce, the price of flour rose and French consumers became worried. French farmers watched with dismay when years of shortage followed years of abundance, and had vivid memories of the famines of the 19th century. They knew that the good harvests of the regions with high wheat yields would not be enough then to satisfy demand so that every year some wheat would have to imported, and that meant high bread prices.
The French worried about being dependent on the foreign wheat required to make up for shortages. They were afraid that this dependence on other producing countries would lead to a gradual and continuous rise in the price of wheat on world markets. They then resorted to a protective duty on wheat imports. But when harvests were bad, consumers became so anxious that the duty was suspended, with disastrous consequences in 1898, when the prices of wheat and bread failed to drop and French wheat producers had to sell at a loss.
These ups and downs explain why it was that in 1911, the dream of France being able to produce enough wheat to feed its population without being dependent on anyone else had become an obsession. Although wheat output had virtually doubled between 1831 and 1911, this was never adequate and France had to go on buying wheat from the rest of the world.
Ce chapitre est extrait du Rapport Vigie 2016 de Futuribles International, qui propose un panorama structuré des connaissances et des incertitudes des experts que l'association a mobilisés pour explorer les évolutions des 15 à 35 prochaines années sur 11 thématiques.