Accueil MSH-Alpes


Social intermediation and the making of social and political citizenships. Comparative study of six local non-profit organizations. Report 1.Français

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Authors :

C. Chauveaud, P. Warin
Grenoble, Odenore, October 2008

Collection :

Study n° 28

Language :


Addressee(s ): Research for the PUCA – "Urban Citizenship" Programme.

Full text in french.


Methods : Participant observation – interview survey. Six neighbourhood organizations.

Scale : Local.

Resulting focus : The local non-profit organizations or neighbourhood groups in the Villeneuve district of Grenoble where our research was undertaken were set up with a view to reviving the social link. Their practices are entirely oriented towards subjectivity, which appears as the new norm for public action targeting the most fragile population groups or areas. All of these organizations or groups are defined through their practices, aimed at making people think about themselves, work on themselves, and make an effort to take charge of themselves and their lives. The goal is not membership of a collective, territory or community; it is citizenship in the sense of an actor who is aware of his or her abilities and has confidence in them. Through this approach, these associations are comparable (to one another and to many others), but are also a sign of the new orientation of public policies around the idea of capacities and capacity-building. The empowerment practices developed by the agencies studied are not identical. They can be classified according to the logics of exchange that the managers of the agencies want: 1/ When the action logic is of the transactional type, the method consists in encouraging the person to adopt the norms of recognition by enabling him/her to face the group. 2/ When the type of exchange is situated between the "pure gift" and "pure exchange", we have a non-market, symmetrical model of exchange ("reciprocity between equals" (equality matching) or "balanced reciprocity"). 3/ When it is a matter of developing new awareness, the approach can be likened to maieutics.