Société, modes de vie
Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
C'est une sélection d'articles issus de l'Encyclopédie du futur qui est présentée ici dans un volume luxueux, enrichi de photographies et d'illustrations. Les sujets vont de l'avenir du capitalisme à celui de la gouvernance, de l'astronomie au mariage en passant par la démographie, le terrorisme, le travail, l'espace et encore bien d'autres. De nombreux chiffres et faits ont été actualisés.
De quelle Europe parlons-nous au seuil du XXIe siècle ? Que reste-t-il des vieilles solidarités et similitudes profondes qui nous ont unis et qui nous permettent de parler d'une culture européenne comme d'un ferment de civilisation ? Quelle identité commune la machine administrative européenne a-t-elle engendrée ? Au-delà des héritages du passé (grecs, romains, chrétiens, les droits de l'homme, l'enseignement des Lumières...), l'identité européenne d'aujourd'hui et de demain mérite un débat. À l'initiative de Gérard-François ...
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Ce volume rassemble des textes préparatoires à la neuvième assemblée générale de la World Future Society organisés autour de trois thèmes : les développements susceptibles d'avoir des conséquences importantes au siècle prochain, l'utilisation « créative » du capital humain et une réflexion sur la prospective à l'aube de l'an 2000. Ainsi, John N. Pelton disserte sur la technosphère et ses avantages, Chris Hables Gray envisage notre avenir en tant que « cyborgs », Donald B. Louria dessine le spectre des maladies ...
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Nusantara, son ancienne appellation qui signifie « espace entre les îles », met poétiquement en lumière l'unité archipélagique de l'Indonésie, un pays-monde qui ne peut laisser indifférent. Quatrième pays le plus peuplé de la planète, c'est à la fois l'Islam en Asie et le point de passage obligé de près de la moitié du trafic maritime mondial... La crise financière de 1997, en libérant les aspirations contrastées qui bouillonnaient depuis la décolonisation a, volens nolens, ramené le pays ...
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Ces deux derniers tomes, après La société en réseau (Fayard, 1998) concluent 25 années de recherche consacrées à « l'élaboration d'une théorie sociologique de l'ère de l'information fondée sur des analyses empiriques et transculturelles ». C'est en effet d'une masse qu'il s'agit (1030 pages), fort documentée, qui condense aussi bien des sources statistiques que les travaux des meilleurs spécialistes sur chaque sujet. Mais plus qu'une synthèse, les ouvrages de Manuel Castells proposent une ...
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Dans ce livre, Dominique Rousset, journaliste, a interrogé Guy Paillotin, ancien président de l'INRA (Institut national de la recherche agronomique), sur les avantages, conséquences et risques éventuels pour la société des évolutions en cours dans l'alimentation et l'agriculture, et sur leur impact sur l'environnement, ainsi que sur la relation de l'homme à la nature. La première et la deuxième partie rappellent comment l'agriculture productiviste est passée, en France, du contrat à la crise. La ...
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The 35 Hours : A New Era
In this short forum statement, Guy Aznar places the 35 hours law currently under negotiation in France into a larger temporal and international context. By this means he underlines first that the reduction in hours of work is the continuation of a longstanding trend, common to all industrialised countries, and then shows that this measure is a logical accompaniment to a more fundamental re-structuring of work which will have important consequences on modes of life and uses of time.
He recalls at the same time that the 35-hours rule is not a panacea against unemployment. Other measures should therefore be adopted, of a kind which set the issue into a more ambitious perspective : It is a transformation of society and lifestyles which will raise many major existential questions.
The Risk of the 35 Hours
Enacted as it is at the national level, there is little chance that the reduction in work time to 35 hours per week will be applied effectively everywhere. For its effectiveness depends on an exploration of how to do it within each enterprise. And the risk is great that the RWT will be converted into a bidding war for jobs, thereby entrenching a lack of competitiveness in business that will be impossible to compensate by "monetary manipulation".
Looking at it from the aggregate perspective, macro-economic simulations have no predictive power. At best. they describe the gap-filling that is required to assure success for the reduced work-week policy. They tell us nothing about whether these conditions are likely to be realized.
Working Time and Ways of Life: Some Results of an Empirical Survey
Many authors (see in particular the article by Gilbert Cette and Alain Gubian) underline the importance of having the approval of all parties to the reduction of working time (RWT), starting of course with the wage-earners.
Using the results of a survey based on a broad sample of employees, the authors demonstrate that:
- whatever its length, the scheduling of work time exerts a structuring effect on time spent in every other social activity and on ways of life;
- only a drastic reduction of working time can induce real changes of life-styles, but the ways in which the reduction is effected are as determining as its amplitude;
- the regularity of a working schedule, its predictability, is essential to the organization of activities not related to work.
They emphasize another important factor: The RWT tends to affect the rhythm of life more than its content, which means that it may not lead to the development of new activities. Besides, they contend, wage-earners do not have a clear idea of how they would use their extra leisure time. It is an obvious factor, nonetheless, in the OEblossoming of new creativity and new kinds of sociability.
To be truthful, the impact of the RWT on ways of life, aside from a sense of increased well-being, has relatively little impact on activities not related to work. It is nevertheless used in very different and contrasted ways by those who benefit from it, depending on characteristics such as sex, family situation, age and socio-professional class.
Journaliste, essayiste et animateur télévisuel, François de Closets mène depuis trente ans une croisade contre les rigidités, mensonges et petites combines qui conduisent la France à l'abîme. Sorte de compendium de la douzaine d'ouvrages précédents, Le compte à rebours nous avertit qu'une machine infernale s'est mise en marche, que le temps nous est désormais compté, que l'heure de la lucidité et des réformes douloureuses a sonné.
Working Hours in the Netherlands: The Women's Voice
In the debate over length of the work-week in France, the "Dutch model" is often cited by those who favor a shorter work-week. The experience of Holland is offered as proof that such a measure, along with efforts to moderate wage increases, can eventually raise the employment level. (See the articles by Jean-Yves Boulin and Gilbert Cette on the reduction of working time in the Netherlands, in Futuribles n°222 and n°226.)
Marie Wierink does not dwell on this aspect of the employment issue, calling our attention instead to the Dutch Model as the manifestation of a very patriarchal society which has been deeply transformed by feminism. In particular, she shows how the strict partition of gender roles between productive and reproductive (domestic) activities which formerly marked Dutch society has changed under the influence of feminist philosophy. This emancipatory politics has effected an important redistribution of professional and private activities.
The feminisation of our society is an essential subject which is rarely addressed. Marie Wierink delivers a rich analysis in this essay, showing how the feminist movement was organized to become a powerful influence for social change by infiltrating political parties and unions.
Science and Uneasiness
Jean-Jacques Salomon shares with us some thoughts inspired by his reading of recent books on the issues of 1) science and its ambiguous relationship with the State, the public and, therefore, the media, and 2) the soul-searching of scientists themselves when they face the ambivalent implications and possible applications of their discoveries.
Salomons analysis was inspired by five books primarily, in which he found a common element of deep uneasiness within the scientific community over its relationship with society at large. The malaise finds expression as laments for the deficit of innovation compared to the efforts expended in scientific research, for the ambivalence of scientific progress and the (potential and real) risks associated with its imperfect mastery. These concerns are felt by scientists as applying to themselves, let alone to the media-driven State and its citizens.
The Subject as the Source of the Future. From an Absence of Meaning to a Sense of Meaning; or, the Birth of the Subject
Many agree that our society has no sense of direction, no search for meaning. Worse, says Chantal Lebrun, we are getting deeper into non-sense. Consumerism and the welfare state have given us the habit of passive dependence; we expect everything to come from outside.
We are stuck in a childlike state of dependency on an obsolete past which is dominated by a faith in progress and reason that we should abandon. The contemporary challenge is not to forge ahead in a search for substitute meanings, but to become ourselves the subject and rehabilitate the concept of desire. A sense of freedom to desire will give us the strength to escape from our dependence on needs and to thereby become responsible for our own future.
Let us therefore bury our past, stop being paralyzed by the uncertainties of the future and rely on our values as a resource for renewing ourselves. We shall then be able to conceptualize a desirable future which can give us the passion and energy necessary to rebuild, from a realistic perception of major trends, shared values and dreams.
On the strength of Lacan's theories, Chantal Lebrun is engaged here in a true psychoanalysis of modern society, and especially of the individuals which compose it. She invites them to be fully participant (as subjects) in a desirable future which demands courage, audacity and determination.
The Uncertain Future of Senior Citizens
Today, people of 50 or over (often known from now on by the term "senior citizens") represent practically a third of the French population. They receive around 45% of incomes and hold about 50% of the net property of households. "Their rise in power, over fifteen years, has been indisputable" even if they have not - as some people anticipated -fundamentally created a new social dynamic.
Their number and proportion in the total population is destined to rise. But this increase and their demographic influence is in no way sufficient reason, asserts Alain Parant, to believe that the market which they represent will be tomorrow's Eldorado.
Many uncertainties remain regarding the future of the income of this population whose performance within the society of tomorrow could be quite different from what it has been up to now.
Tourism for Senior Citizens in 2010
More and more elderly people are ending their working lives earlier and earlier, living longer and longer, what is more in good health, and enjoying free time and comfortable incomes : these are the "senior citizens" (50 years old and over), suddenly established as a privileged target of the marketing sector which, based on the growth in their numbers alone, highly prizes the prodigious market which this age category will represent in the future.
However, let us be careful about too rapid simplification, Marie-Christine Kovacshazy warns us, for senior citizens do not make up one homogeneous category, if only because among them three generations can be found whose values and behaviour differ and who, for example, in terms of tourist requirements, express different needs.
As to the future, before extrapolating from demographic projections alone, we should still take into account discontinuity factors, coming on the one hand from the evolution of the socio-economic environment, and on the other hand in the change in aspirations and attitudes resulting from a renewal of the generations.
C. Kovacshazy offers us a few powerful thoughts here on these discontinuity factors which can act as a curbing or driving force vis-à-vis the tourism market for senior citizens and which she considers much more risky - for example, because of the uncertainty which hangs over the future of their income - which advocates of "senior marketing" prefer not to think about.
By showing here, in this specialist area of tourism, the extent of the uncertainties which remain regarding the future of the way of life of senior citizens (and the heterogeneity of this population), she offers a first glimpse into ageing and its economic and social consequences which will soon form the subject of a special issue of Futuribles.
The Inequity of Poverty Lines. The Standard of Living by Household
Even though the GNP per capita of the members of the EU is among the highest in the world, it had, according to Eurostat, 7 million poor people in 1993. Their proportion relative to the total population may vary from 5% in Denmark to 18% in Greece and Portugal with some 10% in France. All these countries have adopted various measures intended to guarantee the poorest a minimum standard geared to ensure at least their most basic needs. This article by Jacques Bichot and Dominique Marcilhacy describe these minimum standards in France while showing the maze resulting from the layering of measures adopted one after the other without any harmonization.
The authors then undertake a comparison of the standard of living of the households dependent on these minima according to their status: single, couple with or without children, broken down by the age of the children. They can show that the present legislation is paradoxically biased in favour of singles to the detriment of families, especially those who have several children, the more so with teenagers. They strongly denounce this penalization of families which grows with the number of children. They argue in favour on the one hand for the simplification of the current measures and on the other hand for greater equity between households, whatever their statuses.
The Deviations of Technological Rationality. A Review of Some Recent Books
Jean-Jacques Salomon provides a critical review of three recent books : François Caron, Les deux révolutions industrielles du XXe siècle ("The Two Industrial Revolutions of the Twentieth Century"); Peter Kemp, L'irremplaçable. Une éthique de la technologie ("The Irreplaceable: An Ethic of Technology"); Bertrand Saint-Sernin, Entretiens nocturnes (sur la théorie des jeux, la poésie et le "nihilisme" chrétien) ("Thoughts in the Night: On Game Theory, Poetry and Christian "Nihilism").
With Caron's work as authority, Salomon emphasizes the evolutionary interactions between technical systems and the techno-economic environment, demonstrating the extent to which technique builds society and vice-versa. This is not always for the benefit of people and comes at the cost of disfunctionalities and deviations for which we should always be on guard.
With reference to Peter Kemp, Salomon points ou that the ethical reflection imposed by these circumstances goes beyond the principle of accountability, but is not always up to the challenge. Reflection must go much deeper than mere pious hopes, focus on the deviations and threats linked to excesses of technology (Bertrand Saint-Sernin) and on the limited usefulness of sciences in taking decisions.
"The malaise of a century abandoned to the decline of its utopia and the triumph of its technology urgently needs the rationalization of a renewed romantic spirit."
The Japanese Gambling Economy
Along with the United States and the United Kingdom, Japan is one of the hardest working of the industrialized countries. Its leisure industry is nevertheless particularly well-developed, representing 17% of Gross National Product and 28% of household expenditures (compared to 6% in France). Within the leisure sector, gambling has a fundamental role, particularly pachinko, which alone brings in 1.4 times the revenue of the Japanese auto industry.
Thierry Ribault provides a socio-economic analysis of this activity which he considers to be very representative of the modern merchandising industry: capitalistic, highly productive, and providing lots of jobs.
He demonstrates the subtle marketing strategies of the sector, how they articulate themselves into the socio-economic context, and the demand for games of chance. He describes briefly the conciliatory attitude of the public authorities and the more restrained response of the financial sector to the rise of such an important activity.
At a time when the lack of jobs in commerce is deplored, particularly in France (cf. the note of Thomas Piketty of the Fondation Saint-Simon and the regular warning of massive layoffs which could hit the banking sector), the question which comes to mind is obviously to know whether gambling is a distinctively Japanese phenomenon, or a sector which will be part of the future of all the industrialized countries.
Finance 2005: Four Scenarios. The Evolution of French Financial Services from 1996 to 2005
Disintermediation, computerisation, ephemeralisation, globalisation, have all been used for years in forecasting tremors in French banking and insurance. For a change, we have a text here which reveals that while French financial services may not be sheltered by important structural changes, their future for the next dozen years is largely open.
Basing themselves on a more or less liberal, social-Keynesian evolution in the socio-economic context and the French acceptance of change, especially if it is technological, the authors sketch four scenarios for the years to 2005. They have characterized them as "cautious liberalism", "social harmony", an "exploratory society" or "blocked society".
The thought processes are not detailed, but four images are briefly described, each time in three dimensions (values and lifestyles; household incomes, consumption and savings; the socio-economic context), inferring consequences for banks and financial institutions. The possible futures for these institutions, according to the authors, remain very diverse and ultimately much more dependent on domestic variables than we usually imagine.
Co-écrit par un généticien de l'INSERM et un journaliste spécialisé dans les questions de génétique, cet ouvrage entend faire le point sur le clonage et éclaircir les nombreux débats, scientifiques, politiques, éthiques et autres que ce procédé scientifique a pu générer. Très pédagogique, il explique clairement l'historique et la technique même du clonage afin de présenter aux lecteurs tous les tenants et aboutissants de la question. Sur le plan strictement scientifique, les auteurs précisent que c'est une ...
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Augmentation de la pauvreté et ses nouvelles formes par rapport à la culture et à l'accès aux technologies nouvelles, phénomènes de marginalisation dans les villes, inégalités dans les revenus et le niveau de consommation : l'Italie n'échappe pas à ce fléau auquel s'ajoute un malaise individuel et collectif qui, suite aux transformations de la structure productive et du système social fait apparaître des aspects plus complexes de cette pauvreté. Le rapport souligne la situation des familles les ...
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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.