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.
The last two decades have seen repeated low-level offences that increase social tensions and damage the environment. Have such offences really increased? Is there a greater awareness on the part of victims? Is there something wrong with non-judicial forms of punishment?
In any event, although many cases are closed without any follow-up, Milburn argues that the need to deal with these offences has been reaffirmed. The state prosecutors, who are central to the actions of the courts and alive to "zero tolerance", have opted for the famous "third way": they have created peri-judicial sentences intended to "restore social bonds".
Milburn examines two common approaches:
- compulsory mediation, bringing the perpetrator of the crime face-to-face with his or her victim as a means of punishment;
- forcing young offenders to make good the damage they have done, a sentence intended to be "restorative" and educative, aiming to rebuild the link between the young person and the community.
According to Philip Milburn, whereas classic legal sentencing relies on sanctions, 'restorative justice' is based on the will of the accused and the social significance they attach to their acts. These innovations reflect, on the one hand, an approach seeking reparation in which the law is less important than involving citizens in formalizing self-regulation of community life and, on the other, a 'neo-retributive' approach that offers a legal response based on admonition and potential sanctions.
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.
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?
Is the sense of injustice, whether or not justified, a factor leading to delinquent behavior?
Laurent Bègue observes that such feelings are often blamed, but he also shows that the link between these two things can be interpreted in different ways:
- according to one school of thought, the sense of injustice is no more than a selfish excuse that delinquents invoke, either before or after the fact, to give themselves good reasons for breaking the law;
- according to another, such feelings lead to a more or less reasoned revolt against authority and the institutions representing it;
- according to yet another school, this sense (always accompanied by the question of whether or not it is justified) is at the root of a range of feelings such as anger, envy, revenge and the like.
The author discusses and links these views without really choosing among them. In this respect, he emphasizes the need for further research, noting that any preventative measures to deal with delinquency undoubtedly need to take these different views into account.
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.
The question discussed here is clear: is the consumption of drugs (basically cannabis and drugs made from it) and/or alcohol a key causal factor in criminal behavior?
After outlining the results of major research in the field, Gilles Ivaldi confirms that the surveys show that there is an undoubted link between the use of consciousness-altering drugs and criminal activity. But, taking the study a step further, he adds an important rider: the relationship between the use of psychedelic substances and delinquency is far from straightforward. For one thing, it is hard to distinguish cause and effect; for another, they are linked by a system of underlying covariables that are sociological, psychological and demographic. Consequently the use of drugs is part of a range of peer group activities, integral to the lifestyle of young people, related to how often they go out and the level of parental supervision.
Consumption of cannabis certainly appears to be a contributory factor, much more so than alcohol, but Ivaldi acknowledges that the two are often used together, though the trends are moving in opposite directions. He reckons that all these phenomena are associated above all with the socialization of young people and membership of antisocial peer groups with a deviant lifestyle.
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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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Ce rapport basé sur une analyse seconde de la troisième enquête européenne sur les conditions de travail (2000), fournit des informations importantes sur l'évolution de l'organisation du temps de travail en Europe. Collectivement et en moyenne, la réduction du temps de travail se poursuit. Ces moyennes cachent toutefois d'importants écarts entre pays, catégories professionnelles, secteurs, ainsi qu'entre hommes et femmes. Certains groupes sont ainsi plus concernés par les horaires atypiques ou par des durées de travail ...
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De nombreuses études réalisées depuis une vingtaine d'années, par le CREDOC ou d'autres chercheurs, mettent en avant une relative déstructuration de l'alimentation des Français et un développement de l'individualisation du rapport à l'alimentation. On note aussi l'apparition de nouveaux produits et l'importance croissante de la santé dans l'alimentation. L'alimentation n'en demeure pas moins une construction sociale et manger reste un réel plaisir. Toutefois, choisir ce que l'on mange aujourd ...
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Cet ouvrage propose d'approcher l'acte alimentaire, le « manger », à une époque où il a été largement évalué en tant que risque. Mais manger n'a-t-il pas toujours présenté un danger, à commencer par celui de l'empoisonnement ? Le livre se situe au croisement de différentes disciplines des sciences humaines et sociales, les deux auteurs étant respectivement sociologue pour Jean-Pierre Corbeau, et socio-anthropologue pour Jean-Pierre Poulain. A travers cette « réflexion à deux voix », ils nous invitent à reconsidérer nos ...
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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.
L'objectif de cette étude est d'aider un groupe d'hygiène-beauté à établir sa stratégie de long terme au niveau mondial en utilisant les outils de prospective basés sur les évolutions démographiques développés par le BIPE.
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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.