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Conformity through the mobile phone choices of the young French


This article deals with French young people. It is about conformity in the private sphere (and how this relates to the “dodging” of politics). My hypothesis was that being consistent with one’s closest network is satisfying and the ability to oppose its influence is favored by a higher degree of general satisfaction, or satisfaction in some activities. Glaser and Strauss’s grounded theory method was used: to its authors, comparing populations showing sufficient dissimilarities allows to produce theoretical conclusions. The chosen object was the cell phone, three different populations got interviewed from March 2010 till April 2011. Three processes (satisfaction, materialism, family) can explain the ability for an individual to oppose within the realm of privacy. When they were combined, only three exceptions can be noticed and could be explained: these processes are in fact causes or manifestations of the “dodging” of politics. Considering the small number of exceptions and the macro level data, questions arise about the ability of French young people to oppose, not only in the public sphere, but also in the private sphere.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2


  1. In the 2005 study, a young person “does not live with his parents anymore” if he has his own main residence and does not share it with his parents. This study does not take into account the return to their parents during the weekend like we did.


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I would like to thank Simon Langlois, David Lepoutre, Laurent Mell, Guillaume Chanson, Marie-Rose Marinissen and Jorge Munoz for their time and/or help. I would also like to thank Marie-Hélène Vigliano and Pascal Cuvelier for their help in 2010 and 2011.

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Correspondence to Germain Barré.

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Barré, G. Conformity through the mobile phone choices of the young French. Qual Quant 51, 47–63 (2017).

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  • Conformity
  • Consumption
  • Gender
  • Grounded theory
  • Social network analysis
  • QCA