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"Maintaining the Class"

Teachers in the New High Schools of the Banlieues

Frédéric Viguier

Over the past twenty years, a silent revolution brought 70 percent of a generation to the baccalauréat level (up from 33 percent in 1986), without ensuring students corresponding job opportunities. Sociologists have analyzed the impact of this educational democratization, which sought to solve the economic crisis by adapting the younger members of the French workforce to the new economy of services: it has paradoxically accentuated the stigmatization of youths from working-class and immigrant families who live in suburban housing projects. Therefore, high school teachers have had to deal with students' profound disillusionment with education. Moreover, teachers have been central to all of the recent political controversies in France regarding cultural difference. While there are books, pamphlets, and memoirs reflecting their experiences, there is no research exploring the discrepancy between high school teachers' expectations and those of their predecessors. This article explores this discrepancy and its contribution to the social and political construction of the "problème des banlieues."

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Jean-Paul Sartre and Ronald Aronson

In early 1945, with the war not yet over, Sartre travelled to the United States for the first time. He travelled with a group of correspondents who were invited in order to influence French public opinion favourably towards the United States.1 Sartre was sent by his friend Albert Camus to report back to Combat, the leading newspaper of the independent left. Once invited, he arranged also to report back to the conservative newspaper, Le Figaro. Simone de Beauvoir reports that learning of Camus’ invitation in late 1944 was one of the most exciting moments of Sartre’s life.

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Nicolas Mariot

have written books about the astonishing “mobilization of intellect” in war propaganda. 2 On the other hand, we know very little about the behaviour of the members of the educated upper classes who were sent into the trenches, and sometimes died there

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Selective Empathy

Workers, Colonial Subjects, and the Affective Politics of French Romantic Socialism

Naomi J. Andrews

the oppressed.” 2 Socialists elaborated their alternative worldview in the France of the July Monarchy and Second Republic (1830–1851), a society deeply divided by the legacy of the French Revolution and by issues of class and race that played out in

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Patricia Mainardi

possible. The first illustrated miscellany, The Penny Magazine , was founded in London in 1832, and in France the following year. The first illustrated periodicals were directed to the working classes. This is not surprising since philanthropic societies

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From In-Itself to Practico-Inert

Freedom, Subjectivity and Progress

Kimberly S. Engels

’ which mediates the possibilities for our projects. This ontological realm includes human-made objects, language, passively received ideas, social objects or institutions, and class being. Showing the transition from in-itself in BN to practico-inert in

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Lloyd Kramer Enlightenment Phantasies: Cultural Identity in France and Germany, 1750-1914 by Harold Mah

Cheryl Welch L’Impensé de la démocratie: Tocqueville, la citoyenneté et la religion by Agnès Antoine

Judith Surkis Jews and Gender in Liberation France by K.H. Adler

Frédéric Viguier Violences urbaines, violence sociale. Genèse des nouvelles classes dangereuses by Stéphane Beaud and Michel Pialoux

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Frédéric Viguier

Que se passe-t-il dans les banlieues populaires françaises ? Sur le constat, il ne se trouve guère de voix dissonante : les grands ensembles de la périphérie des villes françaises sont affligés de l’ensemble des maux de la société française. Les lieux sont laids et inhumains et furent bâtis trop vite dans les années 1960 et 1970 ; ils sont également mal reliés aux centres urbains ou aux espaces plus dynamiques économiquement. Un temps tentées par la modernité de ces nouveaux quartiers, les classes moyennes les ont fuis depuis longtemps. Quant aux franges supérieures des classes populaires, elles s’efforcent de suivre cet exode ; ceux qui n’en ont pas les moyens en conçoivent une souffrance immense. Les populations immigrées que le chômage massif empêche désormais d’intégrer y sont majoritaires ; les jeunes désoeuvrés y sont sans perspectives d’avenir.

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Michèle Lamont and Nicolas Duvoux

This essay considers changes in the symbolic boundaries of French society under the influence of neo-liberalism. As compared to the early nineties, stronger boundaries toward the poor and blacks are now being drawn, while North-African immigrants and their offsprings continue to be largely perceived as outside the community of those who deserve recognition and protection. Moreover, while the social reproduction of upper-middle-class privileges has largely remained unchanged, there is a blurring of the symbolic boundaries separating the middle and working class as the latter has undergone strong individualization. Also, youth are now bearing the brunt of France's non-adaptation to changes in the economy and are increasingly marginalized. The result is a dramatic change in the overall contours of the French symbolic community, with a narrowed definition of cultural membership, and this, against a background of growing inequality, unemployment, and intolerance in a more open and deregulated labor market.

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Les Assurances Sociales

une contribution à la modernisation de la société française dans l'entre-deux-guerres?

Bruno Valat

The 1930 law creating social insurance was the Third Republic's great achievement in the social arena. However, the historiography of contemporary France contains barely a trace of this achievement. Victim of the regime's discredit as well as of the lack of any reformist political efforts in its favor, social insurance of the 1930s has also suffered by comparison to later achievements, particularly the creation of Social Security in 1945. However, if we study social insurance in its own historical context—and not in reference to the postwar period—, it can constitute an original source for the study of the modernization of French society. This article proposes three approaches: social insurance constitutes a vector for the acculturation of the working class to retirement and to the medicalization of health, contributing to the history of working class uses and representations of consumption and social rights. On a more institutional level, the experience of social insurance reveals the first legal experiments with co-gestion involving employers, workers, and insurance organizations. Finally, a prosopographical study of the militant trajectories linked to social insurance could contribute to the history of the working-class movement between 1930 and the end of the Thirty Glorious Years: is there a "social insurance generation" within French syndicalism?