Abstract. This paper considers the COVID-19 pandemic as a test that has disrupted the flow of a particular type of social and physical mobility. It takes pathways embarked upon by students from Asian countries to “prestigious” anglophone universities as its focal point of analysis, considering how the residential, consecratory experience of attending elite institutions has been disrupted when universities go virtual or as students are prevented from travelling to their university’s country destination. Building theoretically on the sociology of conventions and testing, I analyse public institutional responses at the commencement of the outbreak from elite universities in the US and the UK, which have hosted large numbers of students from Asian countries in past decades. This paper focuses on how these universities responded to international students under conditions of uncertainty, examining how they justify their role, purpose and operations, while canvassing for continued support from this student segment. The findings highlight contesting orders of worth between states and institutions, as clashes between market, civic and domestic regimes exert significant pressures on organisational efforts to coordinate and cope during this critical moment, thereby raising questions about how prevailing logics of elite transnational education have been altered in the face of a pandemic.
Abstract. Der Beitrag skizziert zunächst gesellschaftliche Kritiken an der Sozialforschung sowie Veränderungen der gesellschaftlichen Positionierung der Sozialforschung. Seit Jahren ist eine aufkommende paradoxe Situation zu beobachten, die darin besteht, dass einerseits eine wachsende Nachfrage nach sozialwissenschaftlichen Daten und empirischen Analysen zu beobachten ist, dass andererseits zugleich auch eine wachsende Kritik an solchen Daten und empirischen Analysen aufkommt. In der Öffentlichkeit verschlechtert sich für Umfragen das „Survey-Klima“. Mit der Etablierung der Internet-basierten Big Data-Technologien entsteht zudem ein im wesentlichen unternehmensbasierter Bereich der Sozialforschung, in dem massenhaft generierte Daten, deren Auswertung und die darauf beruhenden Strategien der kommerziellen Gesellschaftsanalyse und Verhaltensbeeinflussung für die Öffentlichkeit und akademische Sozialforschung unsichtbar sind. Es steigt auch daher das Bewusstsein für damit verbundene Probleme des Datenschutzes und die Sorge über die gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen von kommerziellen Big Data-Technologien. Zudem entstehen weitere « Datenwelten » wie die zivilbürgerliche Datenwelt und auch die amtliche Statistik positioniert sich als Datenwelt neu. Was sind also Perspektiven für die Sozialforschung im Umgang mit der Kritik und der Konkurrenz durch andere Datenwelten? In dem Beitrag wird auf der Grundlage der Soziologie der Konventionen versucht, die Ausrichtung der Sozialforschung und weiterer Datenwelten auf plurale Formen des Gemeinwohls als Ansatzpunkt zu wählen. Die Soziologie der Konventionen betrachtet Sozialforschung – wie jede Form der Koordination – als auf Logiken fundiert, die zugleich eine pragmatische Normativität darstellen. In dem Beitrag wird daher das Konzept der Datenwelten eingeführt, um systematisch die Kritik und Spannungen zwischen den vier Datenwelten der Sozialforschung, der Big Data Welt, der zivilbürgerlichen Datenwelt und der amtlichen Statistik zu analysieren.
Abstract. The article first outlines societal critiques of social research as well as changes in the social positioning of social research. For years, an emerging paradoxical situation has been observed, which consists in the fact that, on the one hand, there is a growing demand for social science data and empirical analyses, and that, on the other hand, there is at the same time a growing criticism of such data and empirical analyses. The « survey climate » is deteriorating for surveys in the general public. Moreover, with the establishment of Internet-based Big Data technologies, an essentially company-based field of social research is emerging in which mass-generated data, their evaluation and the strategies of commercial social analysis and behavioral influence based on them are invisible to the public and academic social research. As a result, there is a growing awareness of the associated problems of data protection and concern about the social impact of commercial Big Data technologies. In addition, other « data worlds » are emerging, such as the civic data world, and official statistics is also repositioning itself as a data world. So what are perspectives for social research in dealing with the critique and competition from other data worlds? Drawing on the sociology of conventions, this paper attempts to take as a starting point the orientation of social research and other data worlds towards plural forms of the common good. The sociology of conventions views social research – like any form of coordination – as grounded in logics that are also pragmatic normativities. The paper therefore introduces the concept of data worlds to systematically analyze the critiques and tensions between the four data worlds of social research, the Big Data world, the civic data world, and official statistics.
Anthony Goerzen, Peter Simon Iskander & Joerg Hofstetter (2021)
Journal of International Business Policy, 4, pp. 347–367
Abstract. Emerging market governments are incented to attract global value chain (GVC) activities to fuel economic growth. At the same time, in light of real and perceived workplace-related injustices within emerging markets, GVC lead firms are under pressure to improve social standard compliance within their upstream supply chain. Among the most common approaches to achieve these outcomes is to impose standards of conduct that are vetted by on-site audits. Research has shown, however, that improvement in GVC performance using this approach has been slow and sometimes leads to negative consequences, leading us to our research question: under what conditions do interventions by GVC lead firms yield significant improvements in social standards among upstream supplier workplaces? We hypothesize that a country’s institutions not only have direct effects on social upgrading but also indirectly affect the ability of third parties to bring about social compliance. Our findings, based on two longitudinal datasets, suggest that GVC lead firms must account for the unique country-level institutional pressures that either propel or hamper improvement over time in private social standard compliance among upstream suppliers. In addition, governments must develop new policy responses to target the prevailing institutional pressures that dampen social upgrading if they are to attract and retain GVC investment.”
Extract: “Using Convention Theory to Examine GVC Governance We draw upon Convention Theory (CT) to explain both GVC lead firm and GVC supplier firm behavior in the context of a national institutional environment. CT defines a convention as a system of mutual expectations about the rules and standards that should be followed (Diaz-Bone, Didry, & Salais, 2015). These conventions can refer to product attributes (e.g., quality or type of ingredients) or they can denote attributes related to production and process methods (e.g., labor and environmental standards). If there is a common agreement between the GVC lead firm and its suppliers on a given convention – for example, a defined set of criteria related to responsible behavior that must be fulfilled by the supplier firms wishing to transact with the lead firm – and if there are monitoring mechanisms in place to verify adherence, conventions are more easily adopted and transmitted throughout the GVC lead firm’s upstream suppliers. However, if GVC lead firms and suppliers do not share a common view of a specific criterion, or if it is difficult to monitor and/or enforce, the uncertainty that emerges exacerbates the above-mentioned coordination problem (Ponte & Sturgeon, 2014). A key point in CT is that quality conventions are not necessarily defined prior to collaboration, nor are they fixed in space and time or closed to challenge (Gibbon, Bair, & Ponte, 2008). Rather, they are the result of a dynamic process that emerges as GVC members and their stakeholders attempt to solve interest misalignment problems (Goerzen & Van Assche, 2019; Ponte & Gibbon, 2005). From this perspective, conventions can act not only as normative guides for action but also as collective systems that help legitimize those actions (Diaz-Bone et al., 2015). Conventions, thus, lead to a process of “normalizing” behaviors so that outcomes are compatible with expectations (Gibbon et al., 2008; Ponte & Gibbon, 2005; Thévenot, 2015).” (p. 349)
Mariagiulia Mariani, Claire Cerdan & Iuri Peri (2021)
Sociologia Ruralis, 61(2), pp. 465-490.
Abstract. Origin food schemes (OFS) aim to protect and promote a unique product resulting from a specific place and know-how whose qualities are objectified in the product specifications. This paper explores the standardisation effects of OFS on the diversity of local practices and knowledge by analysing the emergence of the specifications of four origin cheeses recognised as Geographical Indications and Slow Food Presidia (Chefchaouen goat cheese in Morocco, Piacentinu Ennese in Italy, and Béarn mountain cheese and Ossau-Iraty in France). Results confirm that specifications directly preserve some genetic resources, taste, and know-how, whilst they also show that traditional production practices are taken into account differently, depending on negotiations among stakeholders during which opposing motives, strategies, and forms of knowledge may emerge. We argue that paradoxically this process results in adapting and reducing existing diversity, including in OFS that are more oriented towards localising practices and promoting a diversity of tastes.
Extract: “Thus, producers define voluntary and proactive standards to demonstrate in what way their foods differ from and are superior to conventional commodities (Brunori 2006; Guthman 2007; Holloway et al. 2007). Specifications objectify, measure, and communicate those differentiated quality attributes to consumers (Busch 2000; Vuylsteke et al. 2005; Bowen and De Master 2011) within a ‘quality convention’ (Boltanski and Thevenot 2006). In this way, the quality attributes are stabilised and reproduced over time. To obtain a premium price, these differences are ‘acknowledged, highlighted and marketed’ (Ilbery et al. 2005, p. 118)” (p. 467)
Abstract. Recent research shows that a remarkable share of refugees who have arrived in Germany over the past few years is highly qualified and has strong educational and academic aspirations. Preparatory colleges (Studienkollege) and language courses of higher education institutions are the two main organisations providing obligatory study preparation for non‐EU international study applicants in Germany, including an increasing number of refugees. So far, research on conditions for refugees’ successful transitions into and through study preparation, and eventually into higher education, is scarce. The article fills a research gap on the organisational level by considering the established norms and rules of study preparation organisations and the key role of teachers in shaping successful pathways into higher education. Based on central concepts deriving from the sociology of valuation and evaluation, categorisation, and evaluative repertoires, the article aims to illustrate the organisational norms and rules in play shaping teachers’ experiences and perceptions of their students’ ability to study. The qualitative analysis of seven expert interviews shows how teachers differentiate between students with and without a refugee background in terms of performance and reveals opportunities and constraints to take refugees’ resources and needs in study preparation programmes into account.
Abstract. The article describes the emergence and development of positive epistemology and quantification tools in the dynamics of inequalities in education. It contributes to a history of the present at a time when datafication and experimentalism are reappearing in educational policies to justify the reduction of inequalities across international surveys and randomised controlled trials. This socio‐history of metrics also sheds light on transformations about relationships historically established between the welfare state and education that have shaped the representation of inequalities and social programs in education. The use of large‐scale surveys and controlled experiments in social and educational policies developed in the 1920s and 30s, even if their methods and techniques have become more sophisticated due to statistical progress. However, statistical reasoning is today no less persuasive in justifying the measurement of student skills and various forms of state intervention for “at‐risk” children and youth. With the rise of international organisations, notably the European Commission, demographic issues related to school population and the reduction of inequalities have shifted. It is less a question of selecting the most talented or gifted among working‐class students than of investing in human capital from early childhood to improve the education systems’ performance and competitiveness for the lifelong learning economy and European social investment strategy. This article attempts to illustrate this new arithmetic of inequalities in education at the European level.
Abstract. Research on gifted education demonstrates how these programs contribute globally to the reproduction of social inequalities. Despite these findings, gifted education has been remarkably successful in the 21st century. However, the need to equate the inclusion of women, first‐generation students, and students with a migration background in gifted education has simultaneously intensified. Both developments are embedded in profound transformations of the education system globally, especially in the social diversification of student populations and the concurrent demand for excellence in academic research. The German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung) is the largest gifted education program in Germany and one of the oldest worldwide. In recent years, the Studienstiftung has tried to diversify their students. Based on a discourse analysis, which uses the concepts of justification, critique, and regimes of justification, I examine official documents of the Studienstiftung between 1925 and 2018. In doing so, I show that the spirit of the Studienstiftung and their handling of social statistics raise doubts concerning the successful diversification of their students—as the Studienstiftung has claimed. Finally, I discuss several measures that might be useful to support social diversification in gifted education in the future.
Emerging Numbers: Temporality, Metrics and Aesthetics of the Covid-19 Pandemic
Alexandre de Paiva Rio Camargo, Eugênia de Souza Mello Guimarães Motta, Victor Luiz Alves Mourão (2021)
Mediações – Revista de Ciências Sociais, 26(2), pp. 311-332. Open access
Resumo. O artigo apresenta os resultados de uma pesquisa em curso sobre as estatísticas de Covid-19 durante o primeiro ano da pandemia (março de 2020 a fevereiro de 2021) na qual se investigou a relação recíproca entre os números sobre a doença e a própria pandemia como experiência coletiva, com ênfase no caso brasileiro. Na análise são privilegiados três aspectos: a estética, as temporalidades e as controvérsias. A periodização proposta considera a forma como os números são apresentados e participam na construção da pandemia, a existência de três momentos, com características distintivas entre si. A noção de emergência serve para salientar a articulação entre o momento de crise e o afloramento das formas de quantificar. Demonstra-se que a pandemia, longe de infligir uma ruptura inteiramente nova na experiência social, constitui uma articulação original entre elementos que já existiam antes de sua eclosão, envolvendo, entre outros aspectos, as tensões opondo vida e economia, a complexificação do circuito de produção de dados e a retroação dos números públicos sobre a agência social.
Abstract. The article presents the results of an ongoing investigation on Covid-19 statistics during the first year of the pandemic (March 2020 to February 2021) in which the reciprocal relationship between disease numbers and pandemic itself was investigated as a collective experience, with an emphasis on the Brazilian case. In the analysis, three aspects are privileged: aesthetics, temporalities and controversies. We propose a periodization that considers, based on the way the numbers are presented and participate in the construction of the pandemic dynamics, the existence of three moments, each one with distinctive characteristics in relation to the others. The notion of emergency serves to highlight the link between the moment of crisis and the emergence of ways of quantifying. It is demonstrated that the pandemic presents a new articulation between elements that already existed before its outbreak, such as the tensions opposing life and economy.
Marc Breviglieri (2021) – Tradução de Yolanda Gaffrée Ribeiro
Revista Antropolítica, 52, pp. 375-416, Open Access.
Resumo. Este texto consiste na análise de uma dinâmica subterrânea de resistência. Essa dinâmica não surge como uma máxima agressiva, mas sugere a afirmação de uma alternativa àquela que o urbanismo tenta – atualmente em uma escala internacional – controlar, regular e orientar, apoiando-se sobre o princípio de uma cidade garantida, a mesma que gostaria de assegurar a qualidade de suas características, afirmando estar preocupada em compartilhar formas de avaliação. Essa cidade daria, assim, a garantia do que se considera “geralmente” uma circulação fluida, uma qualidade patrimonial, uma boa variedade de comércios, serviços eficazes, um grau de rentabilidade satisfatório aos investimentos etc. Ao oferecer ao citadino um espaço de escolha, essas propriedades da cidade garantida contribuem para o empoderamento (empowerment) do indivíduo, destinado a encontrar os meios de reforçar suas capacidades de autodeterminação. No entanto, a formatação de um espaço referencial e informacional que sustenta a construção da cidade garantida, tende a lhe retirar algumas de suas qualidades sensíveis. A metrópole contemporânea altera, neutraliza e esteriliza os ambientes mais desqualificados, os menos traduzíveis, o gênero daqueles que poderiam dar às cidades uma profundidade perturbadora, tonalidades afetivas cambiantes e oportunidades do desvio sem referenciais.
Extract: “Contudo, uma questão se coloca: como compreender este “indiscutível” e a sentença experimentada pela crítica, de modo a enfrentar esta autoridade estabelecida de forma potente? É preciso agradecer à Laurent Thévenot por ter voltado, explicitamente, a esse ponto que, geralmente, não está presente na crítica ao neoliberalismo e à globalização. Ou seja: a revelação dos seus fundamentos normativos não é suficiente e deve ser acompanhada de “uma viagem mais longa para desvendar os mecanismos inibidores do senso crítico” (THÉVENOT, 2013). Essa viagem supõe analisar, então, um “conjunto de dispositivos normalizadores e autoridades de regulação, ditas independentes e que fogem ao olhar do político e à sua crítica” e, ainda, se veem metabolizados e instrumentalizados em uma verdadeira “governança pelo objetivo” (THÉVENOT, 2013). Nas palavras desse autor, tal governança “reivindica o incontestável”, difundindo a prática de avaliação e o recurso aos indicadores que “qualquer pessoa seria obrigada a aceitar por realismo”, especialmente no caso de um formato bastante consensual: o objetivo mensurável a ser alcançado.” (p. 400)
Abstract. This text focuses on analysing an underground resistance dynamic. This dynamic does not emerge in the form of aggressivity, but rather suggests an alternative to what urbanisation is now trying, on an international scale, to control, regulate and direct by employing the principle of the guaranteed city, that is, a city that seeks to assure us of the quality of its properties and claims to share the evaluation of them. Such a city thus supposedly guarantees what is ‘generally’ thought to be free-flowing traffic, heritage architecture, a good selection of shops, efficient public services, satisfactory profitability for investments and so on. Provided for citizens in a given space, these properties of the guaranteed city contribute to the empowerment of individuals, who are supposed to find there the means of reinforcing their ability to make choices. However, the creation of a referential and information space which underpins the building of the guaranteed city tends to remove from it some of its palpable qualities. Contemporary cities change, neutralise and render bland the most indefinable and most untranslatable of atmospheres, atmospheres that could give cities a disturbing deepness, changing emotional tones, opportunities for wandering without knowing where you are going.
Extract. “However, a question arises: how to understand this « indisputable » and the sentence experimented by the critique, so as to confront this established authority in a potentious way? Laurent Thévenot must be thanked for having returned, explicitly, to this point that is not usually present in the critique of neoliberalism and globalization. That is: the revelation of its normative foundations is not enough and must be accompanied by « a longer journey to uncover the mechanisms inhibiting critical sense » (THÉVENOT, 2013). This journey presupposes the analysis, then, of a « set of normalizing devices and regulating authorities, so-called independent and that escape the gaze of the politician and his critique » and, furthermore, see themselves metabolized and instrumentalized in a true « governance by objective » (THÉVENOT, 2013). In the words of this author, such governance « claims the uncontestable, » spreading the practice of evaluation and the use of indicators that « anyone would be obliged to accept out of realism, » especially in the case of a fairly consensual format: the measurable objective to be achieved. » (p. 400)
Inventory of a small world. Studying a socio-professional group in the late Middle Ages. The example of the butchers of Rome in the 15th century
Cécile Troadec (2021)
Rives méditerranéennes, 62, pp. 87-101. Open Access.
Résumé. Comment constituer, ou reconstituer, le corpus documentaire propre à l’étude d’un groupe socio-professionnel ? C’est tout l’enjeu de l’enquête prosopographique lorsqu’elle s’intéresse à une profession. Plutôt que de se demander selon quels critères l’historien peut définir les contours du groupe, afin d’y inclure, ou d’en exclure, les multiples individus rencontrés au cours des dépouillements, il s’agit ici de prendre en compte le groupe tel qu’il est constitué par l’archive et les pratiques de l’écrit. À travers l’exemple des bouchers de Rome, connus grâce aux archives de la douane du xve siècle, on se propose de réfléchir sur la « cohésion de cet ensemble flou » qu’est le groupe socio-professionnel, pour reprendre une analyse de Luc Boltanski dans son essai sur les cadres.
Abstract. How to constitute, or reconstitute, the documentary corpus specific to the study of a socio-professional group? This is what is at stake in a prosopographical study of a profession. Rather than asking what criteria the historian can use to define the contours of the group, in order to include or exclude the many individuals encountered in the course of the research, the aim here is to take into account the group as it is constituted by the archive and the practices of writing. Through the example of the butchers of Rome, known thanks to the archives of the customs of the fifteenth century, we propose to reflect on the « cohesion of this blurred whole » that is the socio-professional group, to take up an analysis of Luc Boltanski in his essay on executives.”
Matthieu Noucher, François-Michel Le Tourneau & Pierre Gautreau (2021)
GeoJournal, Open Access.
Abstract. The increase in the price of gold, due to a shift to safe investments during the global economic crisis, has led to a rapid expansion of gold production. Alongside legal gold mines, wildcat gold mining has developed in French Guiana since the early 2000s. This phenomenon, with its social, environmental and economic consequences, is at the heart of the environmental governance of this territory. However, its difficult quantification is the subject of multiple controversies. Environmental governance is increasingly dependent on metrological regimes aimed at quantifying political action in order to objectify it. This article examines the role of metrology in implementing environmental policies in sparsely populated regions via the example of wildcat gold mining in French Guiana. Based on the study of two observatories, one managed by public authorities, the other by an NGO, we deconstruct their maps and counter-maps of wildcat gold mining. To do so, we make a distinction between measurement, commensuration and its diffusion. This focus on “measurement-commensuration-diffusion” allows us to identify three key phases in the production of nature statistics. We argue that the critical analysis of metrological processes through this three-step framework reveals methodological controversies that reflect different and even divergent political visions. The article also shows that metrological systems for environmental protection are the focus of targeted political disputes. It reports on the current disagreements—not only between the State and NGOs but also within the State itself—on the proposed solutions for fighting the impacts of wildcat gold mining in French Guiana and the broader issues of data production in Amazonia.
Marichelle Leclair, Ann-Pierre Raiche, Marjolie Latulippe, Théo Lepage-Richer, Yanick Charette, Laurence Roy & Anne Crocker (2021)
Crime & Delinquency. Online first.
Abstract. This paper adopts a conventionalist approach to shed light on the measurement and reification problems that underlie the quantification of desistance from crime in the scientific literature. Analysis of 100 papers spanning three decades indicates that approaches based on theoretical classification have recently lost ground in favor of more sophisticated techniques aimed at empirically identifying subgroups. These techniques convey the impression of objectiveness among statistics users and consumers and, as a result, the classification “desisters” and “persisters” are increasingly reified. Findings suggest that the quantification of desistance is intimately linked to the maintenance of a classification system that constitutes delinquency as a stable category and contributes to “making” up new kinds of people over which institutions can legitimately intervene.
The democratic dynamics of the social economy : an institutionalist approach to the emergence and historical evolution of the social economy organisations in the French capitalism (1790-2020) – PhD thesis
Sylvain Celle (2020)
Thèse soutenue le 02-12-2020 à l’université de Lille , École doctorale SESAM, Clersé, sous la direction de Florence Jany-Catrice et de Agnès Labrousse.
Résumé. Notre thèse porte sur la dynamique de l’économie sociale dans le capitalisme français, du XIXe siècle à aujourd’hui. Les organisations de l’économie sociale (coopératives, mutuelles, associations, etc.) constituent des systèmes de règles originaux au sein des économies capitalistes. Une des originalités de ces organisations est d’articuler les activités d’une entreprise au service d’un projet associatif. On peut retenir trois principales règles constitutives des organisations de l’économie sociale qui les différencient des autres entreprises : la non-lucrativité, la solidarité et la démocratie. Afin de préserver la spécificité de leurs règles organisationnelles dans un environnement institutionnel capitaliste, les organisations de l’économie sociale ont formé leur propre espace qui apparait comme un système de règles méso relativement autonome. Mais les organisations et l’espace de l’économie sociale restent soumis à une pluralité de sources de régulations, endogènes et exogènes, qui peuvent fragiliser leurs spécificités. Une des hypothèses de cette thèse est que la démocratie, en tant que règle constitutive, favorise le pouvoir d’agir des acteurs de l’économie sociale sur les règles organisationnelles et institutionnelles. Cette démocratie joue ainsi un rôle déterminant dans les processus d’innovation, de différenciation et d’autonomisation de l’économie sociale par rapport aux régulations du capitalisme. A contrario, l’affaiblissement démocratique serait une cause déterminante de banalisation de l’économie sociale dans le capitalisme. Pour questionner cette hypothèse, nous nous appuyons sur le cadre théorique de l’économie politique institutionnaliste, à la confluence de la théorie de la régulation et de l’économie des conventions, afin de contribuer à la construction collective d’une approche institutionnaliste de l’économie sociale. Cette approche s’est appuyée sur une importante enquête historique, principalement à partir de méthodes qualitatives, sur l’économie sociale. Nous avons à la fois mobilisé des sources primaires (archives, entretiens, observations, etc.) et secondaires (littérature pluridisciplinaire). Trois études de cas approfondies sur des organisations de l’économie sociale en Picardie ont été réalisées : le Familistère de Guise (1840-1968), l’Union coopérative d’Amiens (1892-aujourd’hui) et les Ateliers de la Bergerette (1969-aujourd’hui). Une analyse des grandes évolutions de l’espace de l’économie sociale en France a également été menée en distinguant trois principaux compromis institutionnels d’économie sociale : un compromis libéral (1790-1880), un compromis républicain (1880-1970) et un compromis néolibéral (1970-aujourd’hui). Enfin, un dernier terrain a porté sur le développement de l’impact social qui témoigne de mutations profondes dans le compromis néolibéral d’économie sociale. En croisant les échelles d’analyse (micro, méso et macro) et les temporalités (court, moyen et long terme), ce travail de recherche permet d’approfondir notre connaissance historique et analytique de l’économie sociale. Il met notamment en lumière le rôle de la démocratie dans l’autonomisation et la différenciation de certaines organisations et certains espaces plongés dans des systèmes capitalistes.
Abstract. This thesis focuses on the dynamics of the social economy in the French capitalism from the 19th century until today. Social economy organisations (cooperatives, mutual societies, associations, etc.) develop original rule systems within capitalist economies. One of the originalities of these organisations is to articulate the activities of a firm in the service of an associative project. Three main constitutive rules of social economy organisations differentiate them from other firms: non-profit, solidarity-based and democratic rules. In order to preserve the specificity of their organisational rules in a capitalist institutional environment, the social economy organisations have formed their own social economy space, which appears as a relatively autonomous system of rules at the meso-level. But despite their relative autonomy, the organisations and the space of the social economy are subject to a plurality of sources of rules, both endogenous and exogenous, which can undermine their specificities. One of the hypotheses of this thesis is that democracy, as a constitutive rule, facilitate the power of social economy actors to change organisational and institutional rules. Democratic rules thus play a determining role in innovation, differentiation and empowerment of the social economy processes in relation to the rules of capitalism. On the other hand, a democratic weakening would be a determining cause of the normalisation of the social economy in capitalism system.To question this hypothesis, we rely on the theoretical framework of the institutionalist political economy, focusing on the convergences between the Regulation Theory and the Economics of convention, in order to contribute to the collective construction of an institutionalist approach to social economy. The research is based on an important historical survey, using mainly qualitative methods. We have mobilised both primary sources (archives, interviews, observations, etc.) and secondary sources (multidisciplinary literature).Three in-depth case studies on social economy organisations in Picardy have been carried out: “Le Familistère de Guise” (1840-1968), “L’Union coopérative d’Amiens” (1892-present) and “Les Ateliers de la Bergerette” (1969-present). A survey on the major evolutions of the space of the social economy in France has also been carried out: three main historical institutional compromises of the social economy are highlighted: a liberal compromise (1790-1880), a republican compromise (1880-1970) and a neoliberal compromise (1970-today). A final field work focuses on the development of social impact on the social economy over the last decade: it epitomises profound changes in the neoliberal compromise of the social economy. By intersecting different levels of observations (micro, meso and macro) and temporalities (short, medium and long term), this research work contributes to deepening our historical and analytical knowledge of the social economy. It also helps to demonstrate the role of democracy in the empowerment and differentiation of certain organisations and spaces such as the social economy in relation to capitalist rules.
Stabilizing democracy and empowering citizens – two sides of the same coin?
Reinhold Hedtke (2021)
PraxisForschungLehrer*innenBildung, Bd. 3 Nr. 3
Abstract. Der Beitrag diskutiert die politische Repräsentation und Partizipation von Kindern und Jugendlichen und den allgemeinen Zustand der politischen Bildung. Er thematisiert die Spannung zwischen sozialer und politischer Ungleichheit und dem Gleichheitsversprechen der Demokratie und begründet eine Akzentverschiebung hin zu einer interessenpolitischen Bildung für junge Menschen. Der Text unterstreicht die Kritikaufgabe der Wissenschaft, fordert ein Aufgreifen der Kritik der Leute und die Parteinahme der Fachdidaktik für Kinder und Jugendliche. Schließlich plädiert er für das Leitbild der schwierigen, unbequemen und gegenüber ungerechtfertigter Ungleichheit unnachgiebigen Bürger*innen.
“Die Kritik der Leute kann die Demokratie stabilisieren und stärken, wenn es so gelingt, sie zu verändern und zu verbessern. Der Soziologe Luc Boltanski und die Soziologin Ève Chiapello haben in ihrem Werk Der neue Geist des Kapitalismus die Macht der Kritik analysiert (Boltanski & Chiapello, 2003). Sie zeigen, wie Zyklen von Kapitalis-muskritiken immer wieder Transformationen des Kapitalismus angestoßen haben – Erneuerungen, die im Ergebnis das Überleben des Kapitalismus sichern. Renitente und radikale Kritik wird – so ist zu hoffen – auch die Demokratie zu Selbsterneuerungen zwingen, sie beim Überleben stützen und sie besser und womöglich anders werden lassen.” (p. 94)
Abstract. This paper discusses the political representation and participation of children and youth and the general state of civic education. It addresses the tension between social and political inequality and the promise of equality in democracy, and argues for a shift in emphasis toward interest-based political education for young people. The text emphasizes the critical task of science, calls for taking up the critique of the people and the partisanship of subject didactics for children and young people. Finally, it argues for the model of difficult, uncomfortable citizens who are unyielding in the face of unwarranted inequality.
« The critique of the people can stabilize and strengthen democracy, if it thus succeeds in changing and improving it. Sociologist Luc Boltanski and sociologist Ève Chiapello have analyzed the power of critique in their work The New Spirit of Capitalism (Boltanski & Chiapello, 2003). They show how cycles of critiques of capitalism have repeatedly triggered transformations of capitalism-renewals that, as a result, ensure capitalism’s survival. Renitent and radical critique, it is hoped, will also force democracy to self-renew, sustain it in its survival, and make it better and possibly different. » (p. 94)