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Youth Long-Term Unemployment in France: Challenging Common Trends


Drawing upon information collected through 20 in-depth qualitative interviews with young long-term unemployed aged 18–34, we argue in this chapter that there is something quite specific about the way young people experience unemployment in France, and that their experience does not conform to the broader patterns laid out by sociologists. Overall, the analysis emphasizes on a number of key variables such as age, social position, cultural capital, gender, and the effect of specific processes of socialization in a given territory. Although unemployment undeniably affects social ties and heightens the risks of isolation, we show that the wide variety of experiences among young people is not always severe, and certainly not entirely aligned with the catastrophic experience of the unemployed in Marienthal.


  • Young People
  • Cultural Capital
  • Cultural Resource
  • Private Sphere
  • Youth Unemployment

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Appendix 1: List of Interviews

Appendix 1: List of Interviews

  • Adeline (F), born in 1987, university education (BAC+3), in a relationship, without children, father bus driver, mother childcare worker.

  • Aurélien (M), born in 1988, two-year higher degree in mathematics (DEUG), married, without children, father middle manager in a large company, mother executive secretary.

  • Charlie (M), born in 1982, vocational diploma in mechanics (BEP), single, without children, father factory worker, mother not working.

  • Elodie (F), born in 1989, without qualifications, single, without children, father unknown, mother factory worker.

  • Enzo (M), born in 1984, university education (BAC+2), married, without children, father engineer, mother primary school teacher.

  • Estelle (F), born in 1987, vocational cooking qualification (CAP), without children, father specialized worker, mother specialized worker.

  • Fanny (F), born in 1990, high school diploma (BAC professionel), in a relationship, without children, father deceased, mother nurse.

  • Ismène (F), born in 1989, without qualifications, married, without children, father bricklayer, mother secretary.

  • Julie (F), born in 1985, without qualifications, in a relationship, without children, father postman, mother secretary.

  • Julien (M), born in 1987, vocational diploma in graphic design (CAP), father artist, mother working for a non-profit.

  • Karim (M), born in 1990, vocational diploma in industrial electronics (BEP), single, without children, retired father, mother housecleaner.

  • Kim (F), born in 1982, vocational sewing diploma (CAP), without children, father printing worker, mother working for a government agency.

  • Laura (F), born in 1991, vocational qualification in hairdressing (BEP), single, without children, father deceased, mother not working.

  • Laure (F), born in 1991, vocational sales diploma (BEP), single mother, father sales representative, mother not working.

  • Laurent (M), born in 1976, without qualifications, father estranged, mother retired.

  • Maeva (F), born in 1983, vocational diploma in childcare (CAP), single mother, one child, father activity leader, mother working in the town hall.

  • Maxime (M), born in 1988, without qualifications, single, without children, father building professional, mother worker.

  • Noria (F), born in 1991, vocational diploma in maintenance technology (BEP), single, without children, father building caretaker, mother cashier.

  • Romaric (M), born in 1983, high school diploma (BAC), single, without children, father physiotherapist, mother dentist.

  • Stéphanie (F), born in 1978, vocational high school diploma (BAC), divorced, two children, father unemployed, mother sales assistant in a department store.

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Chabanet, D., Cinalli, M., Richard, D. (2016). Youth Long-Term Unemployment in France: Challenging Common Trends. In: Lahusen, C., Giugni, M. (eds) Experiencing Long-Term Unemployment in Europe. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

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