Société, modes de vie
Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
European issues have been in the headlines in France in recent months because of the debate about the European Constitution to be voted on in a referendum at the end of May. Rarely has public opinion been so strongly aroused in the discussions leading up to a vote. Yet while this is an encouraging sign that people are prepared to re-engage with matters of public concern, it is a shame that the debates have too often neglected the fundamental questions such as the general direction that the European Union should take with regard to economic and social policies between now and 2010.
In March 2000, when the European Council met in Lisbon, the EU heads of state and government adopted a broad policy programme that set ambitious goals for the Union between now and 2010. This programme, labelled the "Lisbon agenda", aims to make the EU "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world" by 2010, with a wide range of goals (some with specific figures attached) in areas as diverse as the economy, employment, the environment, social cohesion, etc.
What progress has been made by the halfway point, in 2005? Are the aims likely to be achieved? What are the prospects for the EU reaching its goal?
To find answers to these questions, Futuribles asked various experts on or involved in European matters to assess progress on the Lisbon agenda at the halfway stage. Elvire Fabry and Gilbert Cette outline the agenda and the main objectives that it sets for member states, then Frédéric Allemand makes a comparative evaluation of how well different member states (including France) have performed relative to the agenda's specific targets. He reckons that, so far, the results are mixed. Jean Pisani-Ferry discusses how the Maastricht criteria have been relaxed for member countries that have made a determined effort to undertake structural reforms or to invest in research and development. Lastly, Marjorie Jouen looks at the outlook for the EU budgets for 2007-2013 and shows how they could promote economic and social dynamism in the Union, and thus contribute to achieving the targets set at Lisbon.
Le présent rapport du groupe Delos, du Commissariat général du Plan, dirigé par Guilhem Bentoglio, étudie quels seront les opérateurs de demain dans le secteur des services à la personne et comment leur mode d’organisation pourra permettre de développer des emplois de qualité. La demande dans les services à la personne est potentiellement très élevée en France, compte tenu du vieillissement de la population, de la mutation des structures familiales et des changements dans la gestion des temps. Pour ...
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Qu’est devenu le Japon qui, après les années 1980 où il fut érigé en modèle, a sombré depuis 15 ans dans une crise financière, économique, politique, culturelle dont nul, jusqu’à présent, n’avait dressé un bilan vraiment exhaustif ? Sans renier son modèle particulier de développement, le Japon a accompli une véritable mutation aux plans industriel et économique, social et culturel, telle que, ayant surmonté les chocs pétroliers, remédié aux errements de son administration publique, procédé à un véritable ...
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Over the last five years, property prices in France have risen sharply, which means that more and more lower or middle-income households find it impossible to gain access to the housing market or are forced to move into poorer neighbourhoods. This tends to reinforce the geographical and social segregation of the country. The French media have devoted increasing amounts of space to these developments. In a book published in 2004, Le Ghetto français (Paris: Le Seuil, 2004), Éric Maurin raises a number of points that make these changes clearer and easier to understand.
Charles du Granrut has read the book for Futuribles and summarizes the main conclusions here: society in France is more and more fragmented, French families are seeking at all costs to live in areas or neighbourhoods where they are likely to find people like themselves (in socio-economic terms) or of a slightly higher social class. They feel that this is the only way that they can give their children the upward social mobility that otherwise, unfortunately, tends to be blocked.
As a result, the social and educational inequalities become greater - since, according to this article, the environment (neighbourhood, other pupils at school, etc.) is a decisive factor in determining an individual's academic success. France therefore appears to be a fragmented society that cannot escape from its fragmentation. In order to remedy this situation, the indicators for monitoring it need to be improved, and public policies should be targeted more on groups within the population rather than on geographical areas.
As the unemployment rate in France rose once again above the symbolic level of 10% of the economically active population at the end of February 2005, and the rising cost of housing tends to reinforce the social and geographical segregation of the country, people are becoming worried. But how bad, in fact, is the gap between rich and poor? Is inequality becoming worse and, if so, how much worse?
As Louis Maurin, Director of the Observatoire des inégalités, argues here, it is still very hard to answer these questions. Because of the lack of indicators that are sufficiently relevant and comprehensive, the measurements of changes in income are only partial - in particular, a large part of inherited wealth is not covered - and furthermore involve serious lags: some of the figures available in 2005 date back to 1996! Despite these problems, when the available data are examined, it appears that - optical illusions aside - the poverty gap in terms of income is tending to become wider in France, and educational inequalities are also increasing, which will obviously make matters even worse in future.
Once again, France lacks satisfactory monitoring tools, a criticism often voiced in these pages. As a result, warning bells are not rung when they need to be and the authorities then do not take the steps that should be taken to deal with the country's problems. If inequalities are indeed increasing, we should not be surprised, says Louis Maurin, if this has an impact on social relations and even, in the longer term, on French democracy.
Futures studies should not be content merely with conducting high-level "macro" analyses but should also be concerned with revealing trends that affect people as individuals. It is therefore extremely important to be able to develop foresight techniques related to everyday life, so as to highlight via particular facts or ideas the changes taking place in the way we live and what they reveal. This article by Julien Damon is a perfect example of such an effort to apply foresight to daily life. It looks at an apparently banal topic - smacking - and shows how modern attitudes to smacking reflect a real shift in approaches to bringing up children and in respect for their rights and freedoms.
The author begins with a brief survey of laws against corporal punishment of children in different countries. He outlines the debates on this issue that stirred up public opinion in Canada and the United Kingdom, and then discusses the French situation.
He goes on to present the arguments used by those in favour of anti-smacking legislation, especially in the United States and France. He notes the growth of a major lobby in France to alert parliamentarians to the problem of corporal punishment within the family.
Finally, Damon argues that this mobilization of opinion reflects major changes in society and in the family: although corporal punishment has clearly been on the decline for several decades, there is now a move to prohibit it by law. Beyond the debate about authority versus liberty, it is also a matter of whether people want a society based on trust or on legal norms.
The authors begin by defining what is meant by "digital divide", distinguishing technological (basically quantitative) considerations from a socio-economic approach (taking account of qualitative aspects, such as the ability to use technologies, as well as quantitative ones), which is the one they prefer. They then present a typology of users (and non-users) of the Internet, showing the inequalities linked to social class, geography, age, etc.
As the authors emphasize, it is essential to narrow this divide if the European Union in future is to achieve its aim of becoming "the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world"; this must be done in order to prevent a widening of the gap between the older and newer members of the EU, and more generally between densely populated regions and isolated areas; and it is an important consideration given an ageing population, as older people tend to be less computer-literate. Moreover, it is all too clear that simply having the infrastructures for access to the mass of information available via the Internet is not enough; people must also be able to sort out this information, then understand and assimilate it. In other words, for a truly knowledge-based society to develop there needs to be a genuine effort to educate the public.
Lastly, the article proposes a series of policy measures geared to narrowing the divide, starting by installing the necessary digital infrastructures across the whole of Europe and providing universal broadband access to the Internet, just like access to the telephone in the past.
In May 2004, having made the revival of the economy and of employment its top priority, the French government (via the minister responsible for the economy at the time, Nicolas Sarkozy) asked Michel Camdessus (former head of the IMF and honorary governor of the Bank of France) to produce a report on the economic and financial outlook for France along with proposals for corresponding strategic policy options. Among other things, the report was also supposed to "shed some preliminary light on the structural obstacles hindering the dynamism" of the French economy.
The report, produced under the guidance of Michel Camdessus and drawing on contributions from about 20 experts with a wide variety of backgrounds, was handed over on 19 October 2004. Under the title Le Sursaut ("The Sudden Start"), it adopted a highly alarmist tone as to the prospects for the French economy: with the risk of failing to keep up, the lack of jobs, the growing debt, etc., it argued that the country is in a downward spiral and that swift action is needed in order to prevent it reaching rock bottom. The report then proposed a range of priority policy directions, in particular aimed at making the labour market more flexible, developing services, fostering education and research, etc.
The very pessimistic tone of the report and its perceived bias towards market forces generated controversy in France, with some commentators fearing that it might become the "Bible" of the current government. Futuribles here provides a platform for two economists with opposing views of the Camdessus Report: Michel Drancourt sees it as a "lucid" assessment of the state of France, whereas Gilles Cazes thinks that the prescription proposed is best forgotten.
Dans cette étude réalisée par les chercheurs du CRETEIL (Centre de recherche sur l'espace, les transports, l'environnement et les institutions locales) et de l'Institut d'urbanisme de Paris, il est question des impacts de l'éclatement de la famille et du vieillissement de la population sur les choix résidentiels des ménages. L'augmentation de la fréquence des divorces (qui concernent aujourd'hui près d'un tiers des mariages), la croissance du nombre de ménages monoparentaux (8 % de ...
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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.