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The Times They Are A-Changing: Generational Renewal and Political Transformations in France

Vincent Tiberj and Amy Jacobs
Revue française de sociologie (English Edition)
Vol. 54, No. 4, Re-thinking Inter-generational Inequality (2013), pp. 733-766
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/revfransocieng.54.4.733
Page Count: 34
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The Times They Are A-Changing: Generational Renewal and Political Transformations in France
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Abstract

Abstract The impact of generational renewal on political and civic life is often neglected in public and scientific debates. The disinterest is due, among other things, to the contributions and overall pervasiveness of research on primary socialization and life-cycle effects, as well as a tendency in research to adopt a Mannheimian perspective on political generations. In fact, cohort analysis of French self-placement on the left or right of the political spectrum since the 1970s brings to light major changes. Generational renewal is not politically neutral: it handicaps the right while bringing about an increase in the proportion of “non-aligned.” Moreover, studying generational renewal reveals a profound transformation of the notions of left and right in France, due to the new importance of cultural issues and redefined attitudes toward politics generally and voting in particular.

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