Higher Education

, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 669–681 | Cite as

The 1970s in France: A period of student retreat

  • Raymond Boudon


After the student turmoil of 1968–69, the seventies are characterized by an overall mood of retreat on the part of students. This can be explained by three main factors: (1) the institutionalization of politics within the university system which resulted from the 1968 Loi d'orientation which gave the minority willing to be politically active an opportunity of being so, while dissuading the majority; (2) as a consequence of the 1968 movement, universities are more diversified than they were prior to 1968 giving the students more choice. The increased diversity contributed to the substitution of the exit for the voice strategy; (3) in the seventies the returns from higher education decreased absolutely while they remained constant or increased relatively. This circumstance among others contributed to transforming the ideal-typical model of the full-time student into a new model of student economically active for a part of his time. As a result of these factors the conflicts of the seventies were of the corporalist-particularistic-materialistic type, contrasting with the cultural-universalistic conflicts which characterized the late sixties. In spite of the retreat, surveys show that a high proportion of students feel close to political ideologies weakly represented, if at all, in societal political institutions.


High Education Political Institution Political Ideology Student Retreat Late Sixty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Boussard, I. (1974). “La participation des étudiants aux élections universitaires en France, 1970–73,” Revue Française de Science Politique 24: 940–65.Google Scholar
  2. Boudon, R. (1969). “La crise universitaire française: essai de diagnostic,” Annales 24: 738–64.Google Scholar
  3. Boudon, R. (1971). “Sources of student protest in France,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 395: 139–149.Google Scholar
  4. Boudon, R. (1974). Education, Opportunity and Social Inequality. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  5. Boudon, R. (1977a). Effets pervers et ordre social. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  6. Boudon, R. (1977b). “The French university since 1968,” Comparative Politics 10: 89–119.Google Scholar
  7. Hirschman, A. (1970). Exit, Voice and Loyalty. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Levy-Garboua, L. (1976). “Les demandes de l'étudiant et les contradictions de l'Université de masse,” Revue Française de Sociologie 17: 53–80.Google Scholar
  9. Le Monde de l'Education (1977). October: 5–18.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond Boudon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Paris (Sorbonne)ParisFrance

Personalised recommendations