Social Classes today...

overwiew from our last conference
  • Social classes conference in Sciences Po (29-30 June 2017)Social classes conference in Sciences Po (29-30 June 2017)

Conference "Social classes" in Sciences Po, June 29Social Classes in Contemporary Societies leaflet

Social Classes in Contemporary Societies: Issues and Challenges

29-30 June 2017

Sciences Po Paris

 

 

 

Watch the video report made during the event.

The two-day symposium tested the relevance of the approach to better understanding of social and political issues in terms of classes.
All the presentations focused on recent empirical research conducted in various national contexts (Europe, North America, Latin America, South-East Asia) and are based on various methodologies and theoretical approaches.
The symposium highlighted the polysemy of the notion of social class. Three types of definition were mobilized during the presentations.

  • A first definition, impregnated with the Marxist filiation and the work of Erik Olin Wright, is based on the criterion of workplace ownership and authority relations.

This definition has been used in several papers on the dynamics of income and wealth inequality (Wodtke, Chauvel) and also partly on political attitudes and voting (Oesch).

  • A second definition closely links social classes to occupational groups.

It is the dominant definition in communications devoted to social mobility issues (Costa-Ribeiro, Lopez-Roldan & Fachelli, Vallet), inspired by the work of John Goldthorpe.

  • The third definition is part of an inductive, constructivist approach to the notion of class, by closely combining the objective and subjective aspects of the notion.

It readily refers to the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu, insisting on the multi-dimensionality of the concept.

During the colloquium, this third definition was particularly present in communications dealing with questions of class identity (Cartier and Siblot, Rocca), the spatial inscription of class relations (Savage, Préteceille), and cultural capital (Van Zanten, Bergström & Palme), social capital (Hjellbrekke), consumption (Ferry, Naudet and Roueff), but also partly political attitudes (Oesch).

At the end of the symposium, several cross-cutting issues emerged that could inspire future research.
- Question of the impact of school massification on the class structure of the societies in which it takes place, according to different schedule and modalities.
- Question of the wealth, which several speakers have stressed that it is insufficiently and imperfectly addressed in the international literature on inequalities and social classes, often due to lack of appropriate data.
- Question of the relevance of the levels of analysis (local, national, supra-national).
- Finally question at the intersection of both sociology and political science, the mutations of class voting and, more broadly, the expression of class relations in the political field.

Return on the event' goals

If class remains a key dimension for analyzing social structures, social practices and inequalities, we are at the same time aware that it has to be combine with other dimensions such as: education, gender, race and ethnicity, age and generation, and of course place. National and local contexts remain characterized by huge contrasts, with a significant impact on objective and subjective dimensions of everyday life, social experience and social relations, sometimes within the same social group. We decided to organize this conference to confront different approaches, methods and fieldworks in order to better understand how we are dealing with these challenges.

We can make simplistic distinction between two approaches in the way that they refer to social classes. The first one thinks in terms of class social relations (“rapports sociaux”) and considers that they still deeply structure the society and its inequalities. In this mode, the task of the social scientist is precisely to analyze the nature of class relations (domination, alienation, exploitation, etc.) and to identify its new forms. The analysis of inequalities is directly connected to social relations and social conflict (rapports sociaux), which are generated them.

The second one, that we could call “stratificationnist approach” is oriented to the analysis of social inequalities linked to the socio-economic position, without necessarily reflecting on the social relations that link social groups together and that produce these inequalities. The social category is considered as an independent variable that could explain specific inequalities or variation on social representations and practices. The measure of inequalities is central, as well as the measure of social mobility, but giving less importance to social relations and social conflict. The notion itself of social class disappears in favor of notions such as social background, social milieu, and social category. However, in both cases, the analysis of inequalities is crucial, as well the centrality of social belonging in explaining the production and the reproduction of them. Our first naïve question is: Is it possible to better interconnect these two traditions?


If social classes were an hegemonic analytical framework until the early eighties, many factors have contributed to weaken it: the questioning of the centrality of capitalist relations of production and of work in defining the social position of individuals, the decrease and the fragmentation of the working class, and the collapse of the labor movement, the diversification of skills and the appearance of new jobs and new social categories, the impact of various welfare state regimes, the massive access to the job market for women, etc.

Other factors deal with more subjective dimensions such as: the weakening of class identity and class consciousness, the reinforcement of individualism and the crisis of classic forms of collective and political representation, such as political parties, trade-unions, the calling into question of the link between modernity and social progress
It was obvious that we needed to not limited the discussion only to one society. So, we decided to have both people working on other western capitalist societies and people working on so-called emerging countries.

Mixité sociale et scolaire au Printemps de l'Economie 2017

Arnaud Riegert, Marco Oberti et Julien Grenet
  • Marco Oberti aux Printemps de l'économie 2017Marco Oberti aux Printemps de l'économie 2017

Logo Printemps de l'Economie Le Printemps de l'Economie 2017 (20-23 mars) proposait une session "Mixité sociale et mixité scolaire : un enjeu de cohésion sociale".


Participants de la session 23 (23 mars, lycée Turgot) :

- Arnaud RIEGERT, Chargé de cours à la Paris School of Economics
- Julien GRENET, Directeur adjoint de l’Institut des politiques publiques, Professeur associé à la Paris School of Economics
- Marco OBERTI, Directeur de l'Observatoire Sociologique du Changement
Modérateur : Jean-Marc Vittori.

Voir la vidéo intégrale de la session (1 h 30)

Image Printemps de l'Economie, via You Tube (2017)Image Printemps de l'Economie, via You Tube (2017) Printemps de l'Economie 2017 ay lycée Turgot - session 23

 

 

 

 

La mixité sociale et scolaire est bien évidemment un enjeu majeur de cohésion sociale. Or la ségrégation scolaire est une réalité aux multiples formes, aussi bien inter établissements qu’intra établissements.
Cette réalité est mesurable et a des effets dévastateurs en terme d’inégalités. La ségrégation urbaine en est l’un des facteurs.
Quelles solutions sont possibles ? Lesquelles ont été mises en œuvre, en France et à l’étranger, et pour quelle efficacité ?

Une de ces solutions a consisté, en France, à instaurer des procédures de sectorisation et d’affectation dans les établissements scolaires. Quelle est leur logique ? Quel bilan peut-on en faire ? Quelles sont les pistes d’amélioration de ces procédures ?

Marco Oberti (sociologue, directeur de l'OSC) présente dans cette session une carte situant tous les collèges publics et privés sous contrat de Paris et des départements de la petite couronne. Deux axes d'analyse sont privilégiés : la réussite au Brevet des collèges (mentions très bien ou bien) et la composition sociale des collèges établie à partir de la catégorie socioprofessionnelle du chef de famille.

Des évidences apparaissent à la lecture de la carte :

  • un collège public favorisé socialement (CSP supérieures) obtient d'excellent résultats en terme de réussite au Brevet.
  • quelques collèges populaires, assez rares (4) connaissent de bons taux de réussite malgré un profil social défavorisé .
  • la Seine Saint-Denis apparait très homogène : on y observe très majoritairement des collèges publics populaires dans lesquels les taux de réussite avec mentions TB/B sont faibles.
  • à l'est de Paris, très peu de collèges publics ont un profil social supérieur...

On peut voir en filigranne de ces cartes les effets d'évitement de certains établissement ou la durabilité des effets de stigmatisation ou d'attractivité de certains territoires...

Marco Oberti présente également une étude comparant le profil social des secteurs scolaires (portions de territoire sur lesquelles un collège est implanté) et profil social des élèves du collège. Un graphique très explicite indique pour chaque établissement la différence entre le nombre de fils d'ouvriers attendu si la carte scolaire était respectée et celui mesuré. Certains établissements qui devraient ainsi accueillir 25% de fils d'ouvriers en ont en réalité plus de 60 %...

 

Les citoyens qui viennent

comment le renouvellement générationnel transforme la politique en France
Vincent Tiberj, Séminaire scientifique de l'OSC, 16 juin 2017
  • Soirée électorale du 1er tour, Philippe Grangeaud-Solfé Communication BY-NC-NDSoirée électorale du 1er tour, Philippe Grangeaud-Solfé Communication BY-NC-ND

Séminaire scientifique de l'OSC 2016-2017

98, rue de l'Université 75007 Paris - salle Annick Percheron

vendredi 16 juin 2017 de 11h30 à 13h

Les citoyens qui viennent :
comment le renouvellement générationnel transforme la politique en France


Vincent Tiberj

Vincent Tiberj, Professeur des Universités associé au Centre Emile Durkheim (Sciences Po Bordeaux), spécialiste de sociologie électorale, viendra nous présenter son dernier ouvrage, paru en février dernier.

Puf, collection Le Lien socialLa moitié des électeurs français qui ont voté en 2012 n’étaient pas en âge de le faire quand François Mitterrand est arrivé au pouvoir, et un sur cinq n’étaient même pas encore nés. En 1981, 46 % des électeurs étaient nés avant la Seconde Guerre mondiale ; ils sont moins de 15 % aujourd’hui. Le renouvellement générationnel est un phénomène massif, mais il n’est pas un « remplacement poste pour poste » des citoyens. Il pèse sur les équilibres électoraux et politiques entre gauche, droite et extrême-droite, ainsi que sur les conflits de valeurs, notamment en matière de tolérance ou de racisme.
Pour saisir le présent et l’avenir de la politique française, les dynamiques des cohortes démographiques sont alors essentielles. Elles permettent de comprendre comment le rapport à la politique évolue, notamment vers plus de défiance et de contestation des élus, ou pourquoi les citoyens boudent très souvent les urnes mais protestent toujours plus.

Inscription prélable pour les extérieurs à Sciences Po : sylvie.lesur@sciencespo.fr.

International Publications

New Translations
  • 3 best-sellers now available in different languages3 best-sellers now available in different languages

The Center for Studies in Social Change (OSC) is proud to announce three recent books, written by OSC researchers, which have recently been translated into Italian, Arabic and Japanese.

 

Disruptive Technologies, Social Transformation and the Sociological Imagination

William Housley
Séminaire scientifique de l'OSC - 12 mai 2017
  • In the Digital Age - ohadby (CC BY-NC-ND)In the Digital Age - ohadby (CC BY-NC-ND)

Séminaire scientifique de l'OSC 2016-2017

98, rue de l'Université 75007 Paris - salle Annick Percheron

vendredi 12 mars 2017 de 11h30 à 13h

Disruptive Technologies, Social Transformation and the Sociological Imagination

I outline a conceptual framework for the sociological study of ‘disruptive technologies’ in the digital age. My starting point begins with a sociological framing of these phenomena through the mobilization of classic sociological questions; namely how is social organisation possible? why do societies change over time? and what type(s) of identity are promoted in a given social form?

‘Disruptive’ technologies include Social Media, Big Data, Robotics and new forms of Additive Manufacture.

This presentation moves to respecify these technological developments within the context of the emerging contours of digital society (Edwards et al 2013, Housley et al, 2014, Housley, 2015). In doing so sociology is brought to the fore as an explanatory apparatus that operationalises theory, method and data in ways that account for the re-ordering of social relations in the digital age. Furthermore, matters relating to method and new forms of data, automation and predictive analytics are attended to as routine features of the digital imaginary where ‘disruptive technologies’ are understood as data generative, algorithmic, networked, distributed and organizing socio-technical assemblages. These discursive and material assemblages are ‘motile’ and are underpinned by an array of digital data imaginaries that envision new forms of relating, governing, working and being in a re-ordered and digitally colonised institutional landscape within which digital crowds and mass are being re-materialized. As a consequence disruptive technologies are reconsidered as social and cultural forces in their own right.

William Housley
Professor William Housley
Chair in Sociology, Cardiff University
Vincent Wright Chair, Sciences Po, 2016-2017.

 

Accès sur inscription : marie.ferrazzini(at)sciencespo.fr