Société, modes de vie
Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
For some time the topic of cloning has been a matter of passionate debate, frequently at the forefront of media attention, stirring up not only those engaged in research in biotechnologies, but also (and increasingly) philosophers, sociologists, psychiatrists and the like. The reason is that the ethical implications are enormous. Grégory Bénichou, a professor of ethics, provides a glimpse of these issues that is disturbing, to say the least, as he shows how the argument favouring scientific progress can sometimes conceal the temptations of eugenics.
He argues that society is in the throes of developing a new concept: the "disposable human being". Just as IQ scores were established as a way of measuring the intellectual capacities of individuals, a genetic quotient is currently being devised as an indicator of what constitutes a more or less normal individual -the risk being that parents will choose their baby in vitro according to his or her score. Other aberrations of the same type already exist, according to Bénichou, referring to firms that sell "high quality" sperm that is supposed to help ensure the birth of "better" offspring, or businesses that are introducing genetic assessments as part of their hiring process.
In addition to the social (sometimes geopolitical) inequalities inherent in practices such as these, Bénichou shows that the argument that therapeutic cloning (in which "clones without a brain" are made in order to build up an organ bank of spare parts), which is considered to be more "ethical" than reproductive cloning, is a false one. Other techniques, which are less in the media spotlight but which are potentially just as efficient, already exist to "treat people without debasing human life".
The ultimate question he raises is: "Is human cloning really a step forward for humanity?" Does it not threaten to undermine permanently the principles of freedom and equality, and to establish different grades of human being? According to G. Bénichou, in such circumstances, it is not a matter of defending progress, but of justifying it.
Le groupe Futuribles a livré, le 16 novembre 2004, les résultats de cette étude en souscription, première étape d'un processus continu de veille mutualisée sur l'environnement stratégique des entreprises à moyen et long termes. Dans l'objectif de fournir un panorama des grandes tendances et des incertitudes majeures aux niveaux mondial, européen et français, tout en évitant de réaliser une encyclopédie ou un nouvel « état du monde », 12 enjeux majeurs ont été retenus, en accord avec les souscripteurs ...
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Le rapport étudie le phénomène de ségrégation urbaine, obstacle à l'intégration sociale dans de nombreux domaines tels que le travail, l'école, le logement et les équipements collectifs. Les auteurs reviennent en ce sens sur les mécanismes qui alimentent le processus de divergence urbaine. La stratification de l'espace reproduit la stratification sociale, mais elle se transforme en ségrégation urbaine sous l'effet du chômage de masse persistant et agit comme un multiplicateur d'hystérésis (un phénomène peut persister ...
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As France prepares to mark the centenary of the separation of Church and State in 2005, the current concerns about the presence of religious symbols in state schools (above all, headscarves worn by Muslim girls) show that the debate is far from over. Above and beyond the issue of religion in schools, the question touches the more general problem of attitudes to Islam in French society. How can we prevent secularism, which is a core value of the French education system, from leading to the exclusion of some pupils? And what can be done so that the French version of Islam distinguishes the temporal from the spiritual?
In this debate it is hard to find more relevant reading matter than A Letter Concerning Toleration published by John Locke in 1689. Although there are plenty of texts about tolerance dating from the 17th century (Spinoza, Bayle), Locke's Letter has become the best known reference, because it is so clear and concise. Starting from a conception of the freedom of judgement essential for all human beings, Locke defines the strict limits on the rights of the two institutions (Church and State), the one concerned with man and his worldly goods, the other with matters of faith and the eternal salvation of his soul.
According to Locke, the right to toleration has nothing to do with religious convictions; instead, it is essentially a practical political issue relating to the conduct of social relations. He makes a radical distinction between politics and religion: anyone who confuses two spheres that are so different in their origins, their ends and their concerns is muddling two things that are diametrical opposites, Heaven and Earth. Tolerance in Locke's view nevertheless involves restrictions, above all with regard to convictions that seek to impinge upon the State's sphere: Roman Catholicism because it is ruled from abroad, atheism because he sees it as basically unsuited to maintaining the moral ties essential to political life. Having had some experience himself of the business of the State, Locke was totally uncompromising about the boundary between public law and divine law: his obsession as a champion of liberalism (in the sense of respect for individual liberties) was with the social disorders arising from arbitrary actions by magistrates or from religious fanaticism or, worse still, the combination of the two.
In the midst of the "war against terrorism" launched by the US government, the editor of Foreign Policy rightly reminds us that there are other "wars", not waged by one state against another; these are sometimes even more destructive and governments have great difficulty in gaining the upper hand. These wars are made much worse by certain new features of globalisation and, according to Moisés Naím, they are likely to be long-lasting and to become even more serious if governments do not realize that these problems call for major strategic reforms.
The wars in question are against drug-trafficking, the illegal arms trade, breaches of intellectual property, trafficking of human beings and money-laundering.
These problems have no regard for geography or sovereignty, and they bring governments into conflict with networks based solely on market forces. In many ways, Naím argues, these struggles are structuring the world as much as the tensions between nation-states did in the past. In addition, they raise questions about the dominant ideas and institutions of nation-states and they highlight the damaging side-effects of untrammelled market forces.
John Robinson has therefore analysed the daily routine of Americans and the changes that have occurred in their lives in recent decades. He then uses this information to compare France and the United States.
The trends in how time is divided between work, the family and leisure pursuits has changed little overall since the 1960s, and turn out to be remarkably similar in the two countries. Nevertheless certain changes can be observed: more women in paid work, less time spent on household tasks and caring for the family, men taking on a greater share of household tasks and a slight fall in the amount of time spent on personal care (washing, dressing, etc.). The greater leisure time available tends to be spent watching television and keeping fit.
While French and American trends usually run in parallel, they diverge in certain areas, in particular the non-productive aspects of life (meals, socializing, group activities) that increase the social capital of daily life. Unlike the Americans, the French prefer to spend their leisure time with other people even though, paradoxically, they spend less time with their children when they get older.
Basing his discussion on the national surveys of time-use in a dozen countries, Jonathan Gershuny argues that the changes in how time is spent every day reveal a general similarity among countries and between the sexes, although women still do more housework than men. He also shows that there has been a slight increase in the amount of time spent on paid work (and rising with level of education) and a slight fall in time spent on domestic chores.
Despite these trends, Gershuny stresses that there are potentially substantial differences from country to country, especially between those with long working hours, poor public services and where therefore there are big gender differences, and those with shorter working hours, better public services and where therefore gender differences are smaller.
From this he outlines a political economy of time, and argues that the time spent on paid work has an impact on how and which services are used. He ends by showing that "social democratic states tend towards high-value leisure service consumption, whereas liberal market states tend towards the low value pattern".
Dominique Anxo undertakes here a comparative study of the sexual distribution of time use (professional, domestic, parental) in France and Sweden. He argues that, even if there have been some changes in recent years, in both countries the division of tasks still has a strong sexual bias, with women still spending more time than men on domestic activities and parenting.
Nevertheless, Swedish couples turn out to be more egalitarian in the allocation of tasks than their French counterparts. Among the critical factors responsible for this, Anxo identifies the Swedish employment policy, which allows for a "negotiated flexibility" throughout the life cycle, as well as childcare arrangements for infants which he argues are key, since the presence of pre-school children (i.e. under 3 years old) plays a major role in determining how women organize their time, in both the home and their jobs. Lastly, this (slight) advantage of Sweden over France (and many other countries) as regards the sexual division of activities is also linked to the high level of education and salaries of women in Sweden: total household income and wide differentials in pay scales between men and women heighten the inequalities in this area.
As well as a vivid analysis of male/female disparities, Dominique Anxo therefore suggests some ways of reducing the highly unequal division of labour between the sexes.
Gilbert Cette and Pavel Diev offer here a short survey of the various studies devoted to the impact of the reduction in working hours (RWH) on the way the French spend their time, as well as the main conclusions.
Overall, these studies show that the time released by the RWH is shared among the activities people usually engage in outside working hours, depending on characteristics such as gender, income, whether or not they have children... Women, for example, mostly spend this extra time on household tasks and personal care, whereas men tend to spend it on gardening and DIY. If they have children, those in paid employment spend more time on domestic tasks and/or leisure activities. The level of education appears to determine whether this extra time is spent on domestic chores rather than leisure or social activities.
Finally, the authors provide some interesting insights into the variables most likely to influence how this extra free time is spent by those who have gained it (by age, family situation, income, length of service in the firm, travel-to-work time, the manner of RWH, etc.).
Basing his analysis on surveys of time-use in France, Alain Chenu discusses the main trends in the use of time by people aged between 18 and 64 and living in urban areas over the period 1974-1999.
In essence, he shows that while half the day is spent on satisfying physiological needs, the other half is devoted to work (either in jobs or in education) -where the amount of time has fallen sharply, especially between 1974 and 1986- and to leisure, which has tended to increase. Chenu points out, however, that there is a clear difference between the sexes, although that is diminishing: in 1974, women spent three times longer on domestic tasks than men, whereas in 1998 they spent just under twice as much time; in 1974, men were responsible for 80 % more of paid work than women, but by 1998 this had fallen to around 50 %.
Chenu then examines the data broken down into more detailed categories and finds that some major changes have been observed: a fall in the time spent sewing, washing and dressing, cooking and looking after children, etc. By contrast, more time is spent on do-it-yourself tasks in the home, gardening and shopping, with (once again) obvious differences between men and women.
Lastly, Chenu notes how the way French people spend their time varies depending on their level of education and their income. This analysis reveals a quite sharp distinction between highly qualified people who are working harder and harder and the unskilled, who enjoy more leisure time but spend it in mostly passive ways, such as watching television.
Le prochain élargissement constitue pour l'Union européenne un événement aux dimensions politiques et institutionnelles sans précédent. L'écart de développement entre les Quinze et les futurs membres fait aussi de cette intégration une expérience économique originale. Mais les échanges sont déjà largement libéralisés et les investisseurs ont anticipé l'adhésion ; c'est donc moins à une concurrence massive concentrée sur quelques branches qu'il faut s'attendre qu'aux effets plus complexes de l'intégration des marchés. Les simulations ...
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Hiromasa Suzuki describes here the various changes since 1970 in how time is spent in Japan. After setting out the major changes that have occurred in lifestyles (quality of life, division of labour between the sexes, time spent on work, leisure, etc.), the author stresses two key trends in Japan: a reduction in so-called "constrained time" (mainly paid employment and housework) and greater diversity of lifestyles (a shift in the active day towards the evening, more varied schedules). He raises some questions to ponder about ways of adapting things like community services to these changes, but the big unknown remains how the Japanese will spend their increased leisure time in the future.
Après avoir sondé les maires de communes rurales sur le phénomène des citadins actifs qui viennent s'installer à la campagne, Ipsos a mené une enquête "miroir" auprès des néo-ruraux afin d'avoir leur propre ressenti : opinions et attitudes des "néo-ruraux".
Même s'ils ont parfois du mal à le reconnaître, l'enquête Ipsos-Enfant Magazine montre que pour beaucoup de jeunes parents, la vie professionnelle empêche de vivre pleinement la vie familiale. Inversement, la vie familiale est souvent perçue comme un frein à l'épanouissement professionnel, surtout pour les femmes.
Si l'on se fie à l'intérêt manifesté par les Français au "tourisme éthique" - une part des bénéfices engrangés par l'industrie du tourisme dans les pays pauvres serait reversée pour des actions de développement durable - ce principe devrait se développer. Les personnes interrogées par Ipsos pour l'association " Tourism for Development " sont prêtes à privilégier les professionnels du tourisme labellisés "éthique", par principe, mais aussi parce qu'un tel label les rassurerait quant aux conditions d'accueil dans ...
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The Roman Catholic Church -with a billion followers, the world's largest faith community -is stepping up its efforts to make an impact internationally. Jérôme Montes analyses the main forces behind Vatican diplomacy.
The Pope, he says, has a key role: his perception of the world determines the behaviour of his Church, which must continue to spread its influence but also, in a more recent development, wield greater political authority. The Pope must therefore be involved on all fronts and give direction to his pontificate.
The job of the Vatican diplomatic service is to make his views heard abroad. Radios, newspapers, television stations and the Internet are all used to spread the Pope's influence. In addition to the media, the Pope's travels have a strong political dimension and give him an international platform to express his opposition to racism, injustice and conflict.
As well as normal diplomatic channels, the Vatican also relies on new networks of a wide range of non-governmental actors whose mission is to defend human rights in the Pope's name, and who provide a fitting means of developing informal diplomatic links until such time as the Vatican can be fully integrated into the United Nations Organization. Lastly, the Church is keen to foster the ecumenical movement and inter-faith dialogue, and this must remain an important branch of Vatican diplomacy.
Montes concludes that the next Pope will have to redefine the Church's position in the world and, like John Paul II, will have to be a travelling pontiff, visible internationally and able to capture the attention of the world media if he wishes to tackle the challenges of modern times and the rise of fundamentalist movements.
"If our bathwater was cloudy, stinking, coloured by effluents, the mistress of the house would be covered with shame. The same effluents (but worse) lurk in the stream that runs nearby. Yet there is not the same sense of humiliation!" Bernard Vaudour-Faguet highlights the striking paradox of our times: we are deeply conscious of the environment in our homes, but the willingness to intervene tends to fade away once we step outside.
To put it bluntly, the author is highly critical of the contrast between the extreme care about cleanliness in the home and the lack of concern about public spaces, open-air rubbish tips, oil spills and the like.
Even worse, he criticizes the ultimate absurdity of the process: "the products intended to cleanse our selfish little world pollute, disturb and kill the real world, the great outside of rivers, the land, the biosphere, life itself".
En juin 2002, l'aménagement et la réduction du temps de travail (ARTT) concernait 62 % des salariés, soit 26 % de la population de 18 ans et plus. Quelle influence les 35 heures ont-elles eu, l'an dernier, sur les comportements de départs des Français ? Une étude du CRÉDOC, réalisée pour la Direction du Tourisme, Département de la Stratégie, fournit les premiers éléments de réponse : ce ne sont pas les effets de la loi en matière de voyages, de départs en ...
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Engineering is no longer content with reducing physical effort or the life sciences with curing our bodies and increasing health. Together they are setting out to create copies of human beings and societies, to produce intelligent machines and, quite soon, human clones, copies of individuals or even perfect beings.
What is there, in that case, that is specifically human, that distinguishes us now from machines with artificial intelligence and that might in future distinguish human beings from the clones whose production seems unavoidable?
Victor Scardigli makes a sharp distinction between computer science and biotechnology, even though he notes that both are driven by irresistible forces, albeit at different speeds. He stresses the progress achieved in the field of artificial intelligence while at the same time emphasizing that the results can never be on a par with human intelligence, basically for three reasons: the extreme non-logical complexity of the human mind, intentionality, and the cultural and symbolic dimensions.
Scardigli is clearly far more worried about the advances in biotechnology, especially those that are already making it possible to produce clones of animals and that will undoubtedly lead to human cloning. Even though he insists that human beings cannot be reduced to - and therefore cannot be imitated by - thinking machines or a collection of specific genes, even though he acknowledges that individuals shape their identity through their own experiences which would differ from those of a clone, Victor Scardigli urges us to greater vigilance with regard to the progress of these technosciences, while stressing those features that, in his view, will remain peculiarly human.
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.