Paris: Neighbourhood Identity as a Resource for the Urban Poor



The decline in the Fordist model of production initiated the industrial restructuring of the French economy at the turn of the 1970s — rapid and costly in terms of job losses — and transformed the customary forms of waged labour (Castel, 1995). As a result, France experienced massive rising unemployment, affecting growing numbers of low-skilled workers, women and young people who are denied access to the labour market. Where once exploitation in the workplace was the main issue, social and economic exclusion seems to have replaced it. The ‘struggle against exclusion’ became a key objective for public policies at the beginning of the 1990s and this new leitmotiv has been largely debated over in the media and between the social scientists. The welfare state alleviates poverty in the weakest sections of the population by extending its social safety nets. Never before has France known such a proliferation of schemes to assist people excluded from the labour market — from financial support (minimum welfare support, incentives to encourage integration and solidarity) to courses in professional training and social integration.


Ethnic Minority Social Exclusion Social Housing Urban Poor Ethnic Socialization 
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© Elise Palomares, Patrick Simon 2006

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