The Myth and Its Justifications with the Michelin Spirit: The Father, the Son and the Healthy Spirit

  • Corine Védrine
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Urban Anthropology book series (PSUA)


The Michelin spirit is an ideology that justifies the choice of capitalism underpinning the company culture, a strategic tool for subscribing to the corporate values. In this chapter, Corine Vedrine examines in more depth each element of that culture, illustrated by interviews realised with employees and inhabitants of Clermont-Ferrand. She shows that the Michelin spirit is first and foremost based on values drawn from a moral and religious context. It also hinges on standards relating to secrecy and asceticism, and governs the staff’s way of being and doing. The patriarchal model is also at the heart of the Michelin spirit, in line with Le Play’s philosophy. Its cornerstone is the figure of the exemplary father, embodied successively by Édouard and François Michelin, with his role of authority, protection and education.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Corine Védrine
    • 1
  1. 1.LAURE-EVS Laboratory, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de LyonVaulx-en-VelinFrance

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