Date: 09 Sep, 2022
Author: abu harairah
In this Article
The major areas covered relate to macro-social categories, institutions, intermediary groups, social practices, their models and regulations. We thus cover most of what may have affected, during the reference period, individuals or social groups, whether institutionalised or not, belonging to the same community, and the nomenclature of the facts studied is made sufficiently homogeneous to allow subsequent study. of their connections. Other dimensions, whose impact on the transformations of French society are not neutral, could of course have been retained: values, international relations, political decisions, economic conditions, in particular.
We will treat them as constraints external to the model. In each of these areas, the analyses focus on developments which we have good reason to believe have a significant impact on social change. In total, 62 sectors are distinguished in the most recent investigation. They are almost the same as the 60 that had been in the previous one.
Most often these are statistical series, but not always, since it is sometimes necessary to make up for the lack of national data by resorting to local monographs. These indicators can a priori be very numerous. Are retained those which lend themselves to an overall diagnosis on the change having affected the sector in the period studied and allow the statement of what we call a trend, that is to say a synthetic diagnosis on the change of medium term in a given sector.
Multiple indicators, such as the decline in marriages, the increase in divorces, single-parent families, etc. lead to stating the trend in the direction of a diversification of matrimonial models and a weakening of couples. Formulating a trend does not consist in looking for transformations affecting a very minority group of which a model would assure us that they are destined to spread. Trends only concern sufficiently unambiguous, long and massive changes.
Aware of this problem, we reintroduce the necessary nuances in the texts arguing in detail for each trend. However, the approach itself protects us against the risk of formulating an “averaging” synthesis in a field where the situations would be extremely diversified, since it would then be difficult to find a convergence of the different indicators.
Between a more aggregated level, which would mix more heterogeneous phenomena, and a finer level, that of indicators which would be too numerous and scattered to lead to overall diagnoses. The 62 current trends are in a way the “lines of force” of change. We hold that it is at this level that it is advisable to place oneself to come to the explanatory phase.
So far, we have remained essentially descriptive. However, it is not only a question of identifying developments, but also of questioning the relationships between them. To do this systematically, we constructed a square matrix by placing trends in rows and columns and noting each of the boxes, in a binary fashion, according to the presence or absence of a causal link between a trend-line and a trend-column – causality may or may not be circular. We also note the sign of the relationship, which is positive when the increase in trend A is considered to reinforce that of trend B or, on the contrary, negative when it counteracts it (see appendix 2).
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The only link that can interest us is the causal link, but it can be historical or only logical. As always, a causal link between two phenomena presupposes two conditions: a non-fallacious correlation between these phenomena and an antecedence of one over the other. This antecedence is historical if it is clear that one trend chronologically preceded another. But over a period of twenty years, the temporalities most often largely overlap.
We must stick to a logical antecedence. When trends are aimed at individuals, for the macrosociological link to be retained, it must have a micro sociological foundation. It is necessary to be able to state the good reasons that individuals have for modifying their behavior. A priori the type of rationality at work (Boudon, 1999).