How do French people look at equality of opportunity?

By Michel Forsé (CNRS) and Maxime Parodi

Do the French people believe in equal opportunity? The Dynegal survey asked the question in 2013 to a representative sample of 4,000 individuals, whose responses were very mixed. In a recent article in the Revue de l’OFCE (no. 146, 2016 [in French]), we show that it is the middle classes who prove to be a little more convinced than others by the idea that schooling gives everyone a chance and that one’s success in life does not depend on social origin. This result is in line with the thesis by Simmel that makes the middle-class the site of social mobility. Continue reading “How do French people look at equality of opportunity?”

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In memoriam. Raymond Boudon

By Michel Forsé

Raymond Boudon, Professor Emeritus at the University of Paris Sorbonne, died at the age of 79 on Wednesday, 10 April 2013. It is difficult to summarize so much fruitful work. He was of course the leader of the school of thought known as methodological individualism, which holds that the collective is always the result of rational individual actions. He devoted much of his effort to setting out the foundations for this and attached great importance to the thought of Max Weber. At the beginning of his career, his personal contacts with the American Paul Lazarsfeld led him to develop a formalized and rigorous approach to social facts, in contrast to the structuralism which was so much in vogue at the time and which he disliked. For Boudon, as the title of one of his latest books (2011) suggests, sociology was a science in the strict sense of the term. In a similar vein, he also tried to show in numerous articles and books all the havoc that ideological and cultural relativism could inflict. Continue reading “In memoriam. Raymond Boudon”

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