Archives de catégorie : Publications

Defining health standards through economic optimisation: The example of colostrum management in beef and dairy production

Didier Raboisson, Pauline Trillat, Marie Dervillé, Célia Cahuzac & Elise Maigné (2018)

PLoS ONE, 13(5): e0196377. Open Access

Abstract. There is extensive literature addressing acceptable practices of colostrum distribution to new-born calves; however, no economic analyses are available concerning the profitability of this practice. Moreover, the health standards associated with colostrum management have been defined through the observation of reference farms without explicit reference to economic assessments. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the profitability of farm colostrum management and to define the optimal economic situations for given livestock systems and farm situations. The herd-level net value was calculated using the value of calf products, the cost of passive transfer failure and the cost of prevention. This value was determined for various beef and dairy scenarios and the various time periods spent managing colostrum. The maximal net values defined the optimal economic situations and enabled the determination of the optimal times for colostrum management and respective health standards (i.e., the prevalence of disorders at optimum). The results showed that the optimal time farmers should spend on colostrum management is approximately 15 min per calf. Furthermore, farmers should err on the side of spending too much time (> 15 min) on colostrum management rather than not enough, unless the cost of labour is high. This is all the more true that potential long term consequences of passive transfer failure on milk yields were not accounted for here due to scarcity of data, leading to consider this time threshold (15 min) as a minimal recommendation. This potential underestimation may arise from the greater nutrient content and bioactive compounds identified in colostrum although the passive immune transfer is here defined through immunoglobulins only. The present results show that for small farms that cannot hire colostrum managers, this work can be performed by the farmer after subcontracting other tasks. Moreover, the method proposed here—the definition of health standards through economic optimisation—is a promising approach to analysing health conventions in the cattle industry.

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Relationale Soziologie – Theoretische und methodologische Positionierungen zwischen Strukturalismus und Pragmatismus [Relational sociology: Theoretical and methodological placements between structuralism and pragmatism]

Rainer Diaz-Bone (2018)

Berliner Journal für Soziologie, Online first.

Abstract. Nowadays, relational sociology is represented by sociological approaches from the US and from France. These approaches share the aim of recombining the two “mega-paradigms” in the social sciences, structuralism and pragmatism. Relational sociology is thereby conceived as a project integrating the analysis of different forms of social practices and structures. The article aims to identify the specific properties of relational sociology beyond this common basis. Starting with the “New York school of relational sociology”, it is shown that this school can on the one side be regarded as a contemporary approach of relational sociology, having introduced innovative contributions, but also shows deficient developments on the other side. Thereupon “actor-network theory” and “economics of convention” in particular are presented as examples of the “new pragmatic sociologies” in France, which can also be regarded as modern versions of relational sociology. After characterizing and comparing these three versions of relational sociology, their metatheoretical and particularly methodological commonalities are presented. Finally, the article tries to define positively what constitutes relational sociology.

Keywords: Relational Sociology, Structuralism, Pragmatism, Actor-network theory, Economics of convention, Harrison C. White, Bruno Latour

Link to the review

Free movement of people and capital and the standard of transnational academic mobility: Principles of governance in the European Research Area

Regula Julia Leemann  (2018)

European Educational Research Journal,  Online First

Abstract. The project of establishing a European community since World War II has been further advanced by adding – besides the four freedoms of free movement of goods, persons, services and capital – a fifth freedom – the free circulation of researchers, knowledge and technology – that intends to promote community building at the level of higher education and research and by creating of a European Research Area (ERA). Based on a study of academic careers of postdocs in Switzerland and secondary data, the paper aims to analyse the key governing principles implied in the standard of transnational academic mobility of ‘human capital’ as well as the experiences of individual researchers in coordinating their interests and lives in this context.
We refer to the theoretical framework of the economics of conventions and regimes of engagements by Boltanski and Thévenot. We show that the policies, values and norms of the ERA and the standard of geographic mobility are, at their core, based on four conventions – industry, market, project and fame. This arrangement forces researchers to establish themselves as academic self-entrepreneurs in the knowledge market. In consequence, the mobility requirement of the ERA governance regime makes it difficult for individuals to engage in an individual plan, in familiarity and in exploration.

Keywords: Academic mobility, geographic mobility, European Research Area, economics of convention, regimes of engagements, governance

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Performance targets as negotiated devices – accounting management in French job centres

Jean-Marie PIllon  (2018)

In: Sowa, Frank/Staples, Ronald/Zapfel Stefan (eds.), The Transformation of Work in Welfare State Organizations – New Public Management and the Institutional Diffusion of Ideas, Chap. 8.

« This chapter sheds light on the relation between job counsellors, management accountants and managers at Pole Emploi (the French job centre). Thereby, I would like to define the contemporary government of unemployment in France. The central question of this chapter is: how do management accountants rationalise and « frame » (Callon, 1998) counsellors’ work ro solve the so-called efficiency problem of the state in reducing mass unemployment? Our research question derives from other field works addressing the contemporary transformations of the state. According to such literature, New Public Management accualises the long-lasting dynamics of racionalisacion in public bureaucracies – revealed by M. Weber (Hood, 1995; Bezes & Musselin, 2015). Public organizations embraced an evidence-based steering and an objective measurement of their performance (Desrosières, 2003a). »

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Marketing without moralising: Service orientation and employer relations in the Swiss disability insurance

Eva Nadai (2018)

In: Sowa, Frank/Staples, Ronald/Zapfel Stefan (eds.), The Transformation of Work in Welfare State Organizations – New Public Management and the Institutional Diffusion of Ideas, Chap. 8.

« As I will show, in the context of the currently pervasive conflation of market and society (Crouch, 2011; Shamir, 2008), disability insurance packages a normative issue in market terms. Below this surface of market imagery. I contend, however, that disability insurance must make use of less obviously economic rationales and strategics, because market logic alone is inadequate to mobilise employers. These seemingly ‘non-economic’ justifications can best be understood within the theoretical framework of the Economics of Convention (EC). »

Link to the book

Methods of engagement: On civic participation formats as composition devices in urban planning

Marie Leth Meilvang, Hjalmar Bang Carlsen & Anders Blok (2018)

European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, 5:1-2, 12-41

Abstract. This article evaluates and develops the contribution of pragmatic sociology to the study of urban life and politics, by way of analysing recent shifts in the cultural-political forms of civic participation in formal urban planning. In doing so, it seeks to stage a critical test of the diagnosis of a ‘certified’, (neo-)liberal city that has recently emerged from work with Laurent Thévenot’s sociology of engagements and commonalities. Drawing on extensive empirical materials on the methods and formats of civic participation in contemporary Danish urban planning, we identify three dominant civic participation formats: the hearing, the dialogue meeting, and the workshop. These formats, we argue, work as composition devices that stabilise certain figures of the urban (quasi-)’citizen’, endowed with circumscribed possibilities for political engagement. Rather than a monolithic process of ‘certification’, we conclude, recent years have witnessed a partial and contested translation of the urban citizen into more manageable, liberal shapes.

Keywords: Pragmatic sociologyengagementsurban planningcivic participationcomposition

Économie des conventions au service de la science sociale générale ?

Olivier Favereau (2018)

Chap.IV in : Alain CAILLÉ, Philippe CHANIAL, Stéphane DUFOIX et Frédéric VANDENBERGUE (dir.), Des Sciences sociales à la science sociale : fondements utilitaristes, Bibliothèque du Mauss, Colloque de Cerisy, Editions Le Bord de l’Eau, Lormont, pp.83-93

Extrait : « Alain Caillé s’est fait l’avocat infatigable de la nécessité d’une science sociale générale qui serait une science généraliste de la société, au-delà des différences légitimes entre les différentes sciences sociales spécialisées. Il en a tiré des conclusions sévères sur l’état actuel de la sociologie, qui se serait résignée à n’être plus qu’une science spécialisée, renonçant à l’ambition initiale de la sociologie classique. En tant qu’économiste, si je ne suis pas en mesure de me prononcer directement sur cette thèse, je puis en revanche le faire indirectement (et partiellement) à travers trois de ses spécifications. L’une est une supposition, la suivante une interrogation, et la troisième une constatation :

  • « Posons donc que dans chacune des disciplines qui forment les sciences humaines et/ou sociales il existe deux versants : un versant spécialisé, fermé sur lui-même, et un versant généraliste, ouvert au dialogisme interdisciplinaire » Cela introduit la question du (ou des) mécanisme(s) de production d’un « commun » entre les différentes Sciences Humaines et/ou Sociales (2015, chap.1, § 1).
  • « Comment et sur quelles bases définir en science (et en philosophie) sociale un paradigme alternatif à celui de l’homo economicus, qui est à la racine de la science économique et qui concourt à l’omni-marchandisation du monde en la légitimant à l’avance ? ». On connait la réponse d’Alain Caillé : le point de départ est l’anti-utilitarisme, mais vu comme une doctrine positive, dont le noyau le plus fondamental serait l’essai sur le don de Marcel Mauss (ibid., § 2).
  • « (…) La grande ligne de partage (…) au sein de la science sociale générale sépare l’économie politique d’une part et la sociologie (et l’anthropologie et la philosophie et l’Histoire etc.) de l’autre. » La 1ère privilégie la valeur relative des biens, la seconde celle des groupes ou des personnes (ibid., § 3). »

L’ouvrage : Au moment où la querelle fait rage entre les sociologues en France, comme il y a un an entre les économistes, il est urgent de rappeler que le mot « sociologie » a longtemps servi à désigner la science sociale en général (économie et philosophie politiques incluses, aussi bien que l’anthropologie, l’histoire ou la géographie) et qu’elle est une chose trop importante pour la confier aux seuls sociologues. Elle est l’affaire de tous les social scientists. À côté des sciences sociales spécialisées, c’est une science sociale généraliste, seule à même de penser le monde dans toute sa complexité, qu’il nous faut maintenant faire advenir et instituer. Une science sociale qu’il est urgent, également, de fonder une bonne fois sur des bases non-utilitaristes et dans une ouverture résolue à toutes les sociologies et à toutes les sciences sociales  du monde entier, et pas seulement à celles qui viennent de l’occident. Replacées dans ce cadre plus général, la plupart des querelles de chapelles se résolvent d’elles-mêmes. Pour le plus grand bien d’un désir partagé de connaître. Qu’un tel objectif soit accessible, c‘est ce dont témoignent la variété et la qualité des auteurs ici réunis, anthropologues, économistes, géographes, historiens, philosophes ou sociologues.

Avec des contributions de : Jeffrey Alexander, Romain Bertrand, Robert Boyer, Sergio Costà, François Dubet, Olivier Favereau, Francesco Fistetti, Christian Grataloup, François Hartog,  Nathalie Heinich, Marcel Hénaff, Philippe d’Iribarne, Thomas Lindemann,  Danilo Martuccelli, André Orléan,  Elena Pulcini, Ann Rawls, Marshall Sahlins, Ilana Silber, Lucien Scubla,  Michel Wieviorka.

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Die ‘Economie des conventions’. Grundlagen und Entwicklungen der neuen französischen Wirtschaftssoziologie – 2nd Edition

Rainer Diaz-Bone (2018)

Springer VS, Part of the Soziologie der Konventionen book series (SOZKON)

Introduction. Die Economie des conventions (EC) stellt einen zentralen Teil der neuen pragmatischen Sozialwissenschaften sowie einen komplexen pragmatischen Institutionalismus dar. Dieser Band systematisiert die Entwicklung der EC, führt in die wichtigen Grundkonzepte ein und präsentiert die wichtigsten Beiträge der EC zur neuen Wirtschaftssoziologie. Die EC ist zunächst in Frankreich als Wissenschaftsbewegung aus einer transdisziplinären Kooperation zwischen Wirtschaftswissenschaftlern und Soziologen entstanden. Sie kann mittlerweile als wichtigster Beitrag der neuen französischen Wirtschaftssoziologie aufgefasst werden, der nun auch international an Einfluss gewinnt. Im Zentrum steht eine pragmatische Handlungstheorie, die auf das Konzept der Konvention bezogen wird, um ökonomische Handlungskoordination und kollektive Qualitätskonstruktionen zu analysieren. Die EC kann als ein sozioökonomischer sowie pragmatisch-institutionalistischer Ansatz aufgefasst werden, der auch neue Perspektiven auf Organisationen und Märkte eröffnet.

Link to the Table of contents


Researcher understanding of food innovations in Nordic and Southern European countries: A systematic literature review

Tommaso Savino, Stefania Testa & Antonio Messeni Petruzzelli (2018)

Trends in Food Science & Technology, Online first

Background: The capability of agro-food firms to innovate positively influences their profits and growth. Accordingly, the literature has tried to comprehend innovation phenomena occurring within the agri-food industry which generates high levels of economic output and employment in the European Union. Nonetheless, innovation in the food industry is deeply affected by cultural heritage, habits, and institutional contexts. Europe’s considerable cultural variation causes different innovations in different regions. The most evident disparities in food cultures and gastronomic approaches have been observed between Nordic and Southern European countries. Despite ample interest in comparing these two European areas, few studies in the food innovation literature have adopted a comparative approach.
Scope and Approach: The authors aim to identify the main research streams that study food innovations in Nordic and Southern European countries, as well as the results provided by researchers. To achieve these objectives, we conducted a systematic literature review of 67 articles in the food innovation field.
Key Findings and Conclusions: The review recognises six main research streams along which the academic literature has organised its debate: innovation acceptance, innovation policy initiatives, innovation networks, innovation in traditional food products, alternative food systems, and convention theory. The authors discuss the results emerging from each research stream and also the different patterns that emerge in the literature between Nordic and Southern countries of Europe.

Link to the review

Official statistics in the era of big data opportunities and threats

Walter J. Radermacher (2018)

International Journal of Data Science and Analytics, pp. 1-7.

Abstract. In recent years, the quantity of digital data created, stored and processed in the world has grown exponentially. The demand for statistical information has never been so apparent. For ‘official statistics’, the public informational infrastructure provided by statistical authorities, this new era offers not only essential opportunities but also manifold threats. In order for official statistics to function as a language for all kinds of societal interactions and decision-making, it is essential that the product ‘information’ is fit for purpose. This is an essential shift in perspective. Quality of official statistics needs to be seen with a much wider scope, going beyond the side of production, including the use side and analysing scientifically how these two sides are interacting in a dynamic relationship.

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Caractérisation socio-économique des formes d’agriculture durable‪

G. Plumecocq, T. Debril, M. Duru, M. Magrini, J. Sarthou & O. Therond (2018)

 Économie rurale, 363,(1), 99-120.

Résumé. Les différentes analyses des transitions vers des agricultures durables distinguent souvent deux voies concurrentes, renvoyant aux paradigmes de la durabilité faible ou forte. En dépassant cette opposition polaire, ce travail interdisciplinaire propose une caractérisation socio-agronomique de différentes formes d’agriculture coexistant à des degrés divers dans nos économies occidentales. Les auteurs s’appuient sur une typologie agronomique de sept formes d’agriculture caractérisant les systèmes de production agricole plus ou moins durables, suivant la manière dont intrants exogènes et services écosystémiques endogènes à l’écosystème sont utilisés, et leur mode d’insertion dans les systèmes alimentaires. Ils expliquent les principes qui organisent ces formes, ainsi que les valeurs qui les justifient socialement. Cette analyse permet de discuter les conditions d’efficacité des outils de politiques agricoles.

Socio-Economic Characterization of Sustainable Agriculture Models

Abstract. Analyses of transition toward a more sustainable agriculture often identify two different pathways, that can be linked to either strong or weak sustainability. In this interdisciplinary work, we aim at overcoming this narrow choice between two alternatives, by offering a socio-agronomic characterization of multiple agriculture models that currently coexist in western economies. We use an agronomical typology of farming systems according to the role of exogenous inputs and endogenous ecosystem services in agricultural production and the degree of embeddedness of farming systems within local and global food systems. This typology identifies six agriculture models that we analyze in socio-economics terms. We then clarify the structuring principles that organize these models, and the social values that provide ground for their justification. This analysis enables us to discuss the efficiency conditions of political instruments.

Lien vers l’article / Link to the article



All forest, no trees? Data journalism and the construction of abstract categories

Wilson Lowrey & Jue Hou (2018)

Journalism, Online first, pp. 1-17.

Abstract. This study takes a sociology of quantification approach in exploring the impact of ‘commensurative’ processes in data journalism, in which distinct incidents and entities are rendered similar, aggregated, and shaped into elaborate abstract constructs. This literature emphasizes the political-economic contexts of data production and predicts a heavy reliance on government data, use of national over local data, and a tendency to take data categories for granted, with inconsistent scrutiny. A content analysis of data journalism projects at legacy and non-legacy outlets reveals some support for the expectations from this literature. Findings show an increasing tendency to portray events as abstract metrics and decreasing attention to personal, lived anecdotes. Findings also show a growing tendency to provide indeterminate data sources and limited overt and accessible evidence of data scrutiny. We also see a higher percentage of national-level sourcing than local sourcing across all years, and a decline in government sourcing coupled with a rise in self-gathered, crowdsourced data online. Legacy outlets were more likely than non-legacy outlets to use local data sources, to provide anecdotal reporting in connection with the data presentation, and to use government data sources. Non-legacy outlets were more likely to produce complex abstract metrics.

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Future Avenues for Comparative HRM

Wolfgang Mayrhofer, Chris Brewster & Elaine Farndale (2018)

In: Brewster Chris et al. (eds.): Handbook of Research on Comparative Human Resource Management. 2nd ed. Edward Elgar, pp. 633-650.

This second, updated and extended edition of the Handbook of Research on Comparative Human Resource Management draws on the work of many of the world’s leading researchers in the field to present the state of the art to scholars, students and practitioners. The Handbook provides a detailed focus on the theoretical underpinnings of Comparative HRM, on comparative studies of specific areas of HRM practice and on the unique features of HRM in all the main regions of the world.

„Other theoretical concepts are still in their infancy in CHRM, but may also be promising. For example, convention theory (économie des conventions; Dupuy et al., 1989) argues that in situations of human action and coordination, actors use conventions to justify appreciation or criticism of objects and persons (Boltanski & Thévenot, 1991a; Boltanski & Thévenot, 1991b [2006]), thus reducing uncertainty (Diaz-Bone & Salais, 2011) and coordinating their interactions with others in order to achieve a common goal (Salais & Storper, 1993; Storper & Salais, 1997). Also called ‘orders of worth’, these conventions are higher-order principles or interpretative schemes; stem from major philosophical ideas; and, it is argued, cover six ideal-types: market, industrial, domestic, civic, inspired, and fame.“

Link to the Handbook

Allowing for the projective dimension of agency in analysing alternative food networks

Ronan Le Velly (2018)

Sociologia Ruralis – Wiley Online Library

Abstract. This article argues for including the projective dimension of agency in research into alternative food networks. Starting from a review of the literature, I show that referring to the notion of project is useful to answer the questions raised by the use of the term “alternative” and to reinforce analyses of hybridisation and conventionalisation processes. I argue that alternative food networks are characterised by a “promise of difference” in the projects of the actors who promote them. To clarify this notion of project, I rely on the work of French sociologists concerning the creation of “organised action”. I posit that taking account of the project amounts to recognising human beings’ abilities to imagine and to construct new collectives such as those that are studied in research into alternative food networks. I also underscore the need to envision the project not as a clear determinant of action, but rather as a fuzzy landmark, meaning that negotiation and arbitration are required to set the rules involved in its implementation.

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Travailler le droit : lectures et perspectives sociologiques

Jérôme Pélisse (2018)

Revue française de sociologie, Vol. 59, p. 99-125.

Résumé. Dans un contexte de réformes profondes du Code du travail, cette note critique propose une réflexion sur l’articulation entre deux domaines de la sociologie portant respectivement sur le travail et sur le droit. Une revue de la littérature permet de montrer que leurs croisements sont contemporains de la naissance de la sociologie d’une part, et du droit du travail d’autre part, puis de souligner les circulations et les renouvellements récents, entre France et États-Unis, auxquels a donné lieu la question de la part du droit dans l’analyse du travail. Prendre en compte le droit pour étudier le travail et ses transformations apparait aujourd’hui indispensable, tant ces deux institutions se constituent mutuellement. C’est ce que les travaux empiriques ou plus théoriques abordés dans cette note établissent, mettant en évidence l’importance contemporaine des acteurs et des usages sociaux du droit, aussi bien du travail que dans le travail.

Law at work: sociological readings and perspectives
Abstract. In a context of profound reforms of French employment legislation (the Code du travail), this critical note proposes a reflection on the articulation between two fields of sociology dealing respectively with work and employment and the law. A review of the literature makes it possible to show that their intersections are contemporaneous with the birth of sociology on the one hand, and labour and employment law on the other, and then to highlight the recent interchanges and new approaches shared between France and the United States that have raised questions about the role of the law in the analysis of work and employment. At the present time it appears to be essential to take the law into account in research on changes in work and employment, as these two institutions are mutually constituted. Both the empirical and more theoretical works addressed in this article establish and confirm this relationship, highlighting the contemporary importance of, and the actors involved in, the social uses of law at work.

Article sur Cairn / Link to the article