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Theses

Les intellectuels précaires, genèses et réalités d'une figure critique

Abstract : The expression « precarious intellectuals » is a synthetic phrasing we can use to refer to a social figure which, through manifold termings, was frequently conjured up, at the beginning of the 2000's, in scholarly discourses on French society. Our research stemmed from two interrogations : one concerning the realities of this theoretical or underlying group within the French contemporary society, and another one concerning its tendency to criticize society and even to fuel what Luc Boltanski called « radical critique ». To achieve this twofold goal, we carried out a series of interviews with people who were at the time occupying precarious jobs in cultural and intellectual professions. These interviews were complemented with a genealogic approach retracing the origins and the metamorphoses of figures of impoverished intellectuals – as crisis figures – from the Old Regime to the 1970's. This genealogic approach also highlighted the return of these crisis figures in the early 21 st century, and classified the budding elaborations of this social category in contemporary scholarly and political discourses. Besides, we analysed – on the basis of manifold sources coming from unions, social scientists, journalists and activists, the appearance of three modes of critical prolematisation concerning the precariat at the end of the 1970's, foreshadowing the hesitations and contradictions of our interviewees regarding their relationships to the very category in the name of which they were interviewed. It has thus led to a better understanding of the various forms taken by precarity politics, as well as of the limits of their chances to acquire social consistence.
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Cyprien Tasset. Les intellectuels précaires, genèses et réalités d'une figure critique. Sociologie. École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales Paris, 2015. Français. ⟨tel-02061470⟩

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