Société, modes de vie
Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
In an interview with Futuribles, Marcel Gauchet shows us how open and surprising historical developments can be.
First of all, he says, our world is disenchanted, increasingly leaving matters to human beings to exercise power over themselves, and individual conscience to act as absolute arbiter in ethical and moral decision-making. Democracy and the secularization of religions is making Western culture both more self-confident about its values and more uncertain of how to function, which raises considerable problems. While our society does still have a minimum in the way of shared references, there is constant debate about how to apply them.
Next, he says, the modern times in which we live are marked by a weakening of the social authority of the churches which, conversely, are gaining moral authority. Society no longer expects from them the power to forbid and to coerce individual consciences, but asks instead that they shed light on the questions and dilemmas people are facing. Will they be able to fulfil these expectations better than the secular approach has been able to do?
Finally, he adds, one of the main issues facing the contemporary world is upbringing, what will human beings become? If there is no longer any tradition or superior authority, how should ethical and moral principles be acquired? The family no longer appears to be the transmitter of tradition. Will the school provide training? Or will religion take over this important role?
We are, concludes Marcel Gauchet, facing a situation without precedent in human history.
En 1960, le monde comptait une population de trois milliards d'habitants augmentant à un rythme de 2 % par an, remettant d'actualité les prédictions de Malthus selon lesquelles la croissance de la population dépasserait celle de la production agricole. Quarante ans plus tard, la population mondiale a doublé, mais la production agricole a crû encore plus vite. Cependant, plus d'un huitième de la population est sous-alimenté. Il apparaît de plus en plus évident que la question n'est ...
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For the last thirty years or so, as Françoise Champion notes, "alternative" belief systems have gradually gained ground in Western societies. Here she discusses the cultural conditions and shifts that have encouraged the growth of interest in these beliefs, from the example of mysticism and the esoteric.
Since the early 1970s, there has been a counter-culture movement challenging Western cultural values, in particular rationality. This trend has led to a postmodernist individualism associated with a shift away from Christian attitudes and a collapse of institutional religion, to be replaced by a vague religious sense, attracted by all that is mysterious and strange about human beings and the world. This is where believers in mysticism and the esoteric have established themselves, with their fascination with the marvellous and the magical, which gives alternative beliefs their strong position.
Added to this turning away from institutions are the many forms of questioning of the nature of scientific truth and of the possibility of new "paradigms", that have challenged traditional science. Yet the search for a more complex kind of science has so far led nowhere. As a result, it was agreed at the Cordoba conference that a new combination of science and spirituality was required which would make all kinds of non-standard realities possible.
Finally, Françoise Champion explains, people in the modern world give most weight to their own experiences, they enjoy dabbling in vague ideas and deliberately cultivate ambiguity and uncertainty. Usefulness is of greater importance than truth, and what matters most is what a belief offers in terms of well-being, happiness and solutions to personal problems. Today, people think they are more independent, that they have greater freedom to choose among and experiment with long established systems.
Whereas religion was on the wane in the 1960s and 1970s, for the last 20 or 30 years there has been a great boom in spirituality of all kinds, though admittedly now more vague and individualized. But, according to Yves Lambert, beyond these two developments, secularization then renewal, we are witnessing decline, adaptation, attempts to conserve or to innovate which he tries to clarify here from the viewpoint of a sociologist of religions.
The decline is the product, he argues, of modernity and the values associated with it: the primacy of reason, individualism and diversity. But with "ultramodernity", these same values (reason, individualism, etc.) have become relative, and this has deprived religion of its most formidable rivals but also led the Church to abandon its pretensions to hegemony. Religions have themselves become relativized: they are losing their authority and are developing "belief without belonging", a more personal form of faith.
We are thus witnessing a process of adaptation. "The crisis of rationality encourages the search for ways of expressing affects and subjective experience of the divine [...]; we are moving towards à la carte Christianity" and we are seeing a revival of belief in many forms as well as a coming together of the human and the divine. The principle of authority, of transcendance, is therefore being replaced by a spiritual quest that is more spontaneous and individualized. People no longer expect religion to provide the truth, but rather they want it to offer something in this new quest for fulfilment. Is Christianity falling apart or emerging renewed? asks the author, who concludes that by giving up its totalitarian character, Christianity is acting consistently with its original values.
However, the author recognizes that this process also provokes conservative reactions. Nevertheless, when he looks at the available studies, he notes that the fundamentalists everywhere remain in the minority and the adaptation of Christianity to modernity reveals its amazing capacities for innovation. He highlights the consequent expansion of new forms of religion typical of "ultramodernity": individualization, "autospirituality", pragmatism, mobility...
These four developments are happening but not with equal probability, concludes Lambert, and the "proliferation of religions" could give rise to quite different social changes in different regions.
Ce deuxième rapport annuel sur la situation sociale en Europe fournit des données précieuses destinées à confirmer le rôle stratégique de la politique sociale au sein de l'UE tel qu'il a été défini par le sommet de Lisbonne puis celui de Nice. Il brosse tout d'abord un tableau global des principales tendances observées dans le domaine social (vieillissement, diminution de la taille des ménages, état de la cohésion sociale, conditions de travail et de vie...) au niveau ...
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Cet ouvrage dense se propose de revenir précisément sur ce qu'est la charia, « comment elle apparaît à l'Occident, comment elle est influencée par lui », notamment à l'occasion des événements postérieurs au 11 septembre 2001. Car son auteur, directeur de recherche au CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) et fondateur et président du Centre de philosophie de la stratégie, grand spécialiste des sociétés musulmanes contemporaines, allègue qu'on ne saurait prétendre expliquer les tensions doctrinales et leurs ...
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« Les temps changent et la ville bouge » peut-on lire en couverture de cet ouvrage pratique du CERTU, qui a pour ambition de nous permettre « d'anticiper le grand chambardement des temps dans les villes » et « d'effectuer un transfert de connaissances vers les milieux d'acteurs de la cité ». Car les rythmes de la ville évoluent et se désynchronisent. Le « 8 heures-midi, 14 heures-18 heures » qui organisait la vie personnelle et collective aurait vécu. Le fonctionnement de la cité, des ...
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Le tissu social mexicain est fait de multiples fils et déchiré en plusieurs endroits, selon les deux coordinateurs de ce livre. Réussir à renforcer la cohésion sociale est un défi majeur pour ce pays au XXIe siècle. Les 19 auteurs de ce rapport à la section mexicaine du Club de Rome en passent en revue les différents acteurs (partis politiques, forces armées, jeunes, peuples indigènes...), moyens (éducation, politique économique, développement régional et territorial) et obstacles (corruption, trafic de drogue, racisme).
The career of the prosecuting magistrate Eva Joly is both unusual and fascinating. Jean-Jacques Salomon gives a brief sketch that is full of admiration, so enthralled is he by her book Notre affaire à tous [The concern of us all].
Here is an exceptional and outstanding woman, he tells us, and not because she has emerged from the "grandes écoles", but rather from a wide range of enlightening experiences in the twists and turns of the French judicial system. She discusses the nature of corruption in France, the patterns of French legal behaviour and the way they are reported by the media (that is, when they are not hidden) and the resulting threats to democracy.
Eva Joly describes, first, the workings of the legal system on a daily basis: a workload that has doubled or tripled in 30 years, the totally inadequate resources, the idiotic practices, such as having to abandon cases, inquiries and sentencing because of delays. She was later promoted to be a member of the Interministerial Committee on Industrial Restructuring (CIRI), the Republic's "queen of institutions", in the privileged world of the Financial Inspectorate. Finally, she became a prosecuting magistrate specializing in financial matters, and at this point her description becomes even more disturbing.
The picture she paints is of prosecuting magistrates lacking resources, poorly trained, overworked, badly organized, trying to cope with the "lawless world of finance, where the absence of rules is terrifying and where the deals made between the state and public enterprises enrich whole networks, when they do not swell the secret bank accounts of the decision-makers themselves". Her description darkens further here, and is deeply troubling when it relates not to petty fraudsters but to those with power -corruption in the world of business and politics.
Yet Eva Joly is not discouraged, rather the contrary, and in the end she offers us a remarkable lesson in citizenship.
How has the way the French perceive the future changed over the years? In essence, say the authors of this article, it is striking to observe how far attitudes to the future vary according to current circumstances...
Jacques Antoine and Marie-Thérèse Antoine-Paille review the public opinion surveys about the future conducted in France in the second half of the 20th century. These show that:
- during the so-called "30 good years" (1945-1975), the French had an optimistic view of the year 2000, and looked forward to a golden age;
- during the "lean years" (1975-1995), by contrast, their perception switched completely and gave way to a general "fear of the year 2000".
The authors then reflect on what factors might explain the revival of optimism observed since 1997. They argue that it arises from the improvement in the economic situation (including the launch of the euro), the start of a favourable period in politics (marked by the "cohabitation" of a Right-wing President and a Left-wing government in France), as well as happy events, above all the French team winning the football World Cup.
The French, according to the authors, have regained their self-confidence, in part because of generational change: the new generation of adults was born around the time of the first oil crisis.
Is this revival of optimism likely to last? Their answer is mixed: they say that "the images of the future can never again be what they were in 1950 or even in 1980", and, although trust in scientific progress is now seriously undermined, the main reason for French optimism today depends mainly on the situation of the economy and the environment.
Lastly, the authors outline four scenarios for how public opinion will evolve. In their view, this will ultimately be shaped by the same two factors: the economy and the environment.
L'« anthropologie anticipatoire », terme introduit par l'anthropologue Marion Lundy Dobbert en 1984, mais dont les racines remontent aux années 1970, utilise « l'étude de la dimension sociale de l'homme », ses méthodes, les tendances qu'elle parvient à dégager, pour tenter de prévoir les évolutions des systèmes socioculturels. Les articles de ce numéro spécial explorent en effet chacun un aspect de nos modes de vie et d'être ensemble futurs. Claudia Bell et John Lyall prévoient ainsi le développement ...
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The French are passionately attached to their language, and its protection is a basic premise of French foreign policy. So be it, argues Alain Michel. But we should not overlook the fact that a rearguard action is being fought between the defence of the language - and with it French culture - and the triumphant rise of "international English", which is regarded with a certain disdain.
Of course, every language is a reflection of a particular culture, and we must learn foreign languages if we really want to take our place in the world. Furthermore, to defend the French language through a purely linguistic policy is totally inadequate; the strength of French depends much more on the activities of French people in upholding the country's influence throughout the world.
The desire of the French to defend their culture is a topic that is constantly in the news and that generates considerable controversy. The article by Stélio Farandjis reflects a body of opinion favourable to this position, which the author argues is the result of several factors: for example, the variety of landscapes, the multiethnic composition of the population, the respect for intellectuals, and the important contribution of France to the philosophy of the Enlightenment - indeed, the almost messianic role of France in promoting universal values, human rights and Christian humanism...
This article expresses one point of view: that of someone convinced that France is different, that the country has special advantages and that because of them, France has a special responsibility in international affairs.
Cette deuxième livraison de l'année 2000 de la revue Pouvoirs locaux consacre un dossier spécial très dense à la question du logement et, notamment, de son rôle dans la création ou le renforcement des solidarités urbaines, en France. Le logement social et les politiques publiques sont passés au crible de l'analyse d'experts tant universitaires (Yann Maury, Jean-Claude Driant, Vincent Renard...) qu'acteurs locaux (Alain Dabrowski, Michel Pélissier...) ou politiques (Michel Delebarre, Louis Besson, Gilles de Robien...). Outre ...
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At the end of the 1970s, a group of social scientists started a research project on the value systems held by Europeans; using representative samples of the population of each country and basically identical questionnaires, they were then able to carry out three detailed studies, roughly ten years apart. A special issue of the journal Futuribles (number 200, July-August 1995) was devoted to the trends that emerged from the surveys held in Europe in 1981 and 1990. While awaiting the publication of another special issue covering the whole of Europe on the basis of the results of the last survey, carried out in 1999, the main trends for France are briefly presented here for the first time.
First, Pierre Bréchon and Jean-François Tchernia review the trends observed over 20 years (1981, 1990 and 1999) by age cohort (generation). They distinguish three areas:
- one where values seem to have remained quite stable, such as the desire of the French to free themselves from the major intangible principles and, despite their continuing attachment to the family, their lack of interest in marriage;
- one where there has been rapid change, such as the growing tolerance of homosexuality, intransigeance vis-à-vis Right-wing extremism and increasing secularization;
- finally, one where values are changing more slowly. Three basic trends stand out here: first, the fact that the French are increasingly critical of their society yet at the same time more and more of them say they are personally happy. Next, the fact that "traditional" participation in political life (voting in elections) is falling, but new forms of direct participation are on the increase. Finally, as a corollary of the decline of regard for the major principles, the French are strongly attached to freedom of individual choice but also consider that it is important to maintain social order.
In the second part of their article, the authors try to explain the processes behind these results: why some values remain stable while others change, and to explore what can be learned about the future from the trends observed. Instead of relying on the standard distinctions based on age, generation and period, they identify natural cycles (including the biological cycle, the life cycle and the cycle of generations), structural trends (strongly influenced by social change) and historical events (classed in two categories depending on how long their impact lasts).
They are then able to suggest several keys to a better understanding of the factors most responsible for changes (or absence of change) in values and to establish an extremely useful basis for studying values in the future.
Since 1997, Unesco's Analysis and Forecasting Office organizes "21st Century Talks" which bring together well-known experts on the major issues of the future.
On the basis of these discussions and the "21st Century Dialogues" which were held in September 1998, the person in charge of these meetings, Jérôme Bindé, has assembled the views of about sixty international experts in a book under the title, Keys to the 21st Century.
On the eve of its publication (Paris: Unesco/Seuil, May 2000), we reproduce here some extracts from the book by Jérôme Bindé himself on the subject of "urban apartheid".
Cities, in the past the place where people mixed and interacted, are facing a new threat: urban apartheid, spatial segregation, with the "haves" increasingly sheltering in their private fortresses from the poor and marginal.
Bindé argues that, in both North and South, we are witnessing a destruction of public space, a rapid privatization of neighbourhoods, of urban amenities and services, reserved for the more affluent, who make arrangements for themselves within their own enclosures, carefully separated from the homeless.
Are this breakdown of the city and the rise of this urban apartheid unavoidable and irreversible trends? Without hiding his concern, the author examines the range of possible developments.
Si pour certains, Dieu est mort, il semble difficile à enterrer. Après tout, diagnostiquer la « troisième mort de Dieu » (Alain Finkielkraut) suggère que les deux premières obsèques n'ont pas suffi ! La référence au divin, au spirituel, au religieux, demeure très présente aujourd'hui, mais sous des formes souvent déroutantes. On pressent que le siècle qui commence ouvrira sur ce terrain des voies inédites, sans doute plus individuelles, moins institutionnelles, plus " bricolées " peut-être, " à la carte ", mais on peine à ...
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Le changement, c'est le thème décliné sur plusieurs registres par ce hors-série particulièrement dense de la revue Sciences humaines. Le changement peut en effet concerner d'abord l'individu et s'interpréter comme la transformation de soi (par les psychothérapies, l'éducation...). Il peut aussi renvoyer aux organisations : Pierre Romelaer se demande ainsi quels sont les changements qui vont affecter les entreprises dans les 30 prochaines années, et Patrick Fridenson se penche sur les mues de l'industrie automobile ...
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Les sociologues qui se sont intéressés à la modernisation, comme Karl Marx et Daniel Bell, ont posé l'hypothèse que le développement économique entraînait de profonds changements culturels. Mais d'autres, de Max Weber à Samuel Huntington, ont prétendu à l'inverse que c'étaient les systèmes de valeurs qui avaient une influence fondamentale sur la société. Ronald Inglehart et Wayne E. Baker, utilisant les résultats des trois enquêtes successives sur les valeurs mondiales, qu'ils ont menées dans 65 ...
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Dans cet ouvrage imposant, qui réunit le travail de trois centres de recherche spécialisés sur la politique française, les différents collaborateurs proposent un panorama enrichissant, voire exhaustif, du paysage « culturel-politique » français. La culture politique est ici définie comme un système de représentations, de valeurs et d'évaluation du pouvoir. Elle est aussi appropriation personnelle de ce système : avec la montée en puissance de l'individualisme, la culture politique s'est progressivement conjuguée au pluriel. C'est cette diversité culturelle qui ...
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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.