Correction for 2014: Work, a factor of integration? Globalized culture, a standardization?

The two Contemporary Issues topics in 2014 were

Topic #1: Is work still a factor of social integration?

Topic #2: Does the globalization of culture led to uniformity?

The questions are quite similar to the suggestions for questions on work and culture that we gave you for training.

The Academics in Politics teams offer you one of the suggested correction, to give you an idea of the correction you could give in this essay exercise.

Correction 1: Is work always a factor of social integration?

→ See the compilation of articles on the work

Definition of terms: is working always a factor in social integration?

The word “work” has 8 meanings, from which to choose the most relevant to the topic. Three definitions were particularly useful for this topic:

1st definition: The word “work”, by its etymology, means“toil, application to a task, sustained effort to do something“. (Dictionary of the French Academy)

Second definition: Political economy considers work as“human labor considered as an essential factor of production(Dictionnaire de l’Académie française).

Third definition: In this case, the most interesting angle of definition for this subject, as a factor of social integration, is surely that of the law:“human labor considered under the report of the conflicts which it raises and of the regulations which it is necessary to bring there(Dictionary of the French Academy).

This third definition is relevant because it immediately raises the question of the relationship with others, of the conflicts that can exist through work relations.

The word “always” can be understood here in two senses.

First meaning: In the sense of still today: Work has been a factor of integration. Is it still a factor of integration today?

Second meaning: In the sense of permanently: Work could sometimes fail in its task of social integration. Is work permanently a factor of social integration?

This distinction is important because the two understandings of the word always completely change the perspective of the question. It was, of course, necessary to play with this duality of interpretations in the outline and in the development in order to answer the question.

The expression “social integration factor”:

Action of incorporating one or more foreign elements into a whole constitutes a part in a whole.

In sociology, according to Talcott Parsons (1902–1979), the integration constitutes one of the functions of the social system, ensuring the coordination of the various fractions of this one, to ensure the good functioning of the whole, thanks to a high rate of social cohesion.

It is a good idea to write down all these definitions, not just on the draft, but to show them in your copy, clearly showing the distinctions.

Issue: Is work always a factor of social integration?

The issue at stake in the question is quite explicit in its formulation. It was quite classical, in the sense that it was expected, and very close to what we proposed to train you, such as“Is working a burden for society?” or“Is unemployment opposed to the functioning of society?

Work is a socially recognized activity, and also gives recognition to the author of the work. By its very nature, it necessarily involves relationships between individuals. Work thus seems to play an essential role in the integration of an individual into society.

Hook: Is work always a factor of social integration?

You could use numerous surveys, quotations, historical facts, literary examples. For the more topical, if you listened to the radio on the morning of the competition, you could not miss this Ifop study which shows that:

Fifty-six percent of French people experience work as a “necessary constraint to provide for oneself” rather than a “means of self-fulfillment” (44%), whereas eight years ago 51% saw it as a means of self-fulfillment.

This was an excellent and very topical question because it showed the opposition between work, which serves as a means of self-fulfillment, of voluntary and beneficial integration into society, and oppressive and obligatory work, which is not well experienced by the French and therefore unlikely to promote social integration.

Issue: Is work always a factor of social integration?

The question that pinpoints the problem is used to understand the real problem posed by the question, what underlies the formulation of the question. To find the question that pinpoints the problem, you have to ask yourself the question: “Why Did Sciences Po ask me about this subject? Why this subject?”

In this way, it was possible to question this paradox revealed by the study, and to play on the definitions:

Is work a necessary and painful activity, as the etymology of the term shows, or is it the means for man to achieve social fulfillment? Does work allow us to form relationships with others, despite the conflicts that may arise from these relationships? Does work effectively respond to a fundamental function of society, by the need to unite men?

Plan: Is work always a factor of social integration?

Many outlines were possible, in 2 × 2 (accentuated sociology-economic character), or 3 × 3 (accentuated reflection-philosophical character), even 2 × 3 or 3 × 2.

We propose a plan, which is good among others:

I. Work can be a factor of social integration today (still in the sense of today)

II. Work is not always a factor of social integration (still in the sense of permanently)

III. Social integration must be promoted by a flexible but regulated work discipline

Development: Is work always a factor of social integration?

I. Work can be a factor of social integration today

In I., the aim is to show that work has been a factor of social integration, and that it can still contribute to the integration of an individual into society, through the relationships with others that it implies.

→ See the correction should we like to work?

In ancient times, work was opposed to leisure, experienced as a necessity from which one had to escape. This view has changed: “Days of work! The only days I ever lived!” wrote Alfred de Musset.

“Work removes from us three great evils: boredom, vice and need,” explains Voltaire in Candide in 1759.

Work allows men to survive, to live, to find a social integration.

II. Work is not, however, a permanent factor of social integration

In II, if work can contribute to the integration of an individual into society, this is not always the case, in that work, or the absence of work, unemployment, can make the individual a person rejected or in rebellion against society and against others. Work is then a factor of social disintegration, either because of society or because of the individual himself.

→ This opposition between a holistic and individualistic view is classic in sociology, and was excellent for constituting the A. and B., in each part.

In Work in Crumbs, Friedmann takes a critical look at the effects of assembly-line work, of the division of labor.

“A man who has no leisure, whose whole life, apart from mere physical interruptions for sleep, meals, etc., is taken up by his work for the capitalist, is less than a beast of burden” — Karl Marx (1818–1883)

III. Social integration must be promoted by a flexible but regulated work discipline

In III. we show the solutions to solve this conflict and to promote the social integration of the individual. This is done above all by reforms of work, to fight against the abuses of work (in particular the drifts of Fordism, in the 19th century), which are the result of the constraints of society, but also by the development of schooling, apprenticeship, social relations, culture, etc. so that the individual is not put off by society, but becomes a citizen who engages in society and is happy to fulfill himself through work.

The work must be in agreement with the environment.

Two books could be useful: la machine et le chômage — Alfred Sauvy, or le travail, une valeur en voie de disparition — Dominique Méda.

The contemporary reflection on Corporate Social Responsibility was an excellent way to find a solution and to broaden the question.

Do not worry if you did not use the same references, the same tools, this is only a suggested answer key, and the reflection on work is so vast that your assignment can be quite relevant by another way of approaching the question. This answer key provides you with some thoughts, ideas, that could have been incorporated into the assignment.

Correction 2: Does the globalization of culture led to uniformity?

→ See the compilation of articles on culture

Definitions: Does the globalization of culture led to uniformity?

Globalization: the French Academy, in the 9th edition of its Dictionary, explains of globalization that it is a “new concept”, which refers to“the generalization of international relations in the political, economic and cultural fields. “

Culture: three definitions of culture

perhaps most interesting was the 3rd meaning for this topic, of which there are two uses:

” III. under the etymological influence of the German Kultur and the Anglo-Saxon culture:

A. A. All the literary, artistic, craft, technical and scientific achievements, customs, laws, institutions, traditions, ways of thinking and living, behaviors and practices of all kinds, rites, myths and beliefs that constitute the collective heritage and personality of a country, a people or a group of peoples, a nation.

B. All the values, intellectual and artistic references common to a given group; state of civilization of a human group.

The most relevant expression of this definition for the question is the one that refers to “the collective heritage and personality of a country, a people or a group of peoples, a nation”.

This definition really anchors culture in its geographical specificity, as linked to a nation, a people, which directly raises the problem of globalization.

Uniformity: to give the same nature, the same quality, the same aspect

Issue: Does the globalization of culture led to uniformity?

The exam question was also expected, and was very close to the mock exam questions that we proposed to you and that would have been very useful if you had prepared them, in particular the first two:“Is culture on the way to disappear?“and“Is culture a state issue?

The main lines of the debate are simple:

Globalization would have a unifying tendency, in that it establishes the same culture for the whole world: examples of Coca-Cola.

However, globalization could also be the means for each culture to express its specificity on an international scale: examples of the Gangnam Style video, the most viewed video in the world, which claims its own Korean culture, since it speaks in Korean of a business district in Seoul.

Hook: Does the globalization of culture led to uniformity?

You could draw a hook from the many debates about the culture that marked the year 2013.

Issue: Does the globalization of culture led to standardization?

How can culture affirm national identities in a generalized movement of increasing interdependence of states on a global scale? Is culture condemned by globalization to become one, without diversity, depriving peoples of their specificities? Is globalization not rather a culture of affirmation of the diversity of cultures?

Plan: Does the globalization of culture led to uniformity?

Once again, several outlines were possible. This time, we propose a two-part plan, focusing more on the sociological and economic value of the question. The following outline would have given the candidate a good grade:

I. A single culture of globalization

II. Globalization, a culture of cultural diversity

Development: Does the globalization of culture led to uniformity?

I. A single culture of globalization

See the history of culture from the mid-19th century to 1939.

The point is to show that globalization is imposing itself on all countries. Sociologist Guy Rocher explains, “Globalization could be defined as the extension to a global scale of issues that were previously limited to regions or nations.

Yet culture is a national issue, and the state is involved in the development of this culture, which represents 3.2% of GDP in France.

The paradox is that culture is built precisely against other cultures.

We refuse to admit the very fact of cultural diversity; we prefer to reject outside of culture, in nature, everything that does not conform to the norm under which we live.”Claude Lévi-Strauss writes.

Thus, as culture asserts itself in opposition to other cultures, globalization could lead to a crisis of cultures. Culture would no longer have any other culture against which to assert itself in order to exist.

But this would be to see globalization as exclusive, totalizing and unifying, without seeing that it is itself constituted by the diversity of cultures.

II. Globalization, a culture of cultural diversity

The cultural exception is an essential point in the debate on the globalization of culture. In France, it is a question of affirming the culture of France in the face of foreign countries, within the context of globalization, as André Malraux did. See the cultural history of France after 1945.

It may be interesting to see how globalization has also changed the very concept of culture, by making the transition between culture and mass culture. In this regard, Hannah Arend writes: “Mass society does not want culture but leisure.” – in The Crisis of Culture, 1961.

A key concept, which the Academics in Politics team had summarized in full, is undoubtedly that of multiculturalism, according to the thinking of Charles Taylor.

Charles Taylor returns to the value of different cultures, and explains in particular“what the presumption requires of us is not to decide peremptorily and in authentically on equality of value; but to be open to comparative cultural study, to shift our horizons towards new mixtures.

→ 2014 History answer keys: the diplomatic power of France in the world from 1958 to 2007

See also:

→ 2013 answer keys for Contemporary Issues

Give your impressions, outlines, ideas on the questions of work and culture in 2014 in the comments below.

11 thoughts on “Correction for 2014: Work, a factor of integration? Globalized culture, a standardization?

  1. After much hesitation, here is what the Regional Sciences Po officially publish concerning Contemporary Questions, for the two competitions (1st and 2nd year): For the first year entrance competition, the themes selected for the contemporary questions test are “the family” and/or “globalization”. The entrance exam to the 2nd year at Sciences Po Aix, Lille, Lyon, Rennes, Strasbourg and Toulouse will be held on Saturday March 21, 2015. The themes selected for the contemporary issues test are “inequalities” and/or health “.

  2. Work is a paid productive activity geared towards the search for an income This is how Dominique Méda defines work in his 2014 book, Le travail. The definition it gives us is therefore exclusively linked to a monetary vision. Indeed, if work is commonly defined from an economic point of view as a repeated production activity from which a financial resource is drawn. The fact remains that this more generally consists of an effort, an action that modifies our environment. Work therefore does not only include an economic variable but also a social and societal one. Because it takes place in a given society while integrating into a set of social relationships. If nowadays work has also imposed itself as the cornerstone of our societies, it seems crucial to ask what it brings to them. Does it consist only of a means of obtaining money as affirmed by 95% of the French in 1959 according to a survey appearing in the work of Jean Fourastié entitled Why do we work?. Or on the contrary does it arise as a factor of social integration which brings together individuals within a space of socialization which brings together individuals within a space of socialization. In other words, a common place for learning and sharing a certain number of common values and standards. We can therefore ask ourselves if work above all as a productive activity includes a dimension of social integration? In order to answer this, we will first address the fact that work today is a way of establishing and developing integration but also social cohesion within a society. However, we will discuss in a second step the fact that it also presents itself as a factor of integration and sometimes of exclusion. I Erasmus affirms the work made Man. However, a Man is only defined as such thanks to others. Thus work would be the place of this meeting with the other and would be part of a process of social integration. We will focus in this first part on the way in which work is positioned as a factor of social integration. 1) integration through the economy * André Gorz: the importance of income * John Locke: property acquired through work makes it possible to obtain part of a whole * Plato, The Republic, autarky impossible therefore DT is necessary, specialized work in fact leads the individual to integrate into a collective structure // a.Smith and the invisible hand personal interest >collective interest. 2) the context of globalization * la France invisible, illustrates the importance of work in social integration by means of a study of those who do not have it. * Hegel: factor of social cohesion * mobility allowed by work: abroad our workplace, our colleagues constitute our social environment. 3) work = recognition * Women who have been integrated into society thanks to their work during the world wars * work, necessary for immigrant workers to obtain a residence permit. * another example that I forgot * the fact of being unionized Work therefore asserts itself as a full-fledged space for social integration. Meeting place between individuals and condition of social cohesion. Nevertheless, as we will see in the following part (part not written but in large factor of inequality etc.) II In a context of crisis and scarcity of work with an explosion of unemployment. (part not written but which adopts the same model as the other partial intro) 1 ) the work > slavery * the young minimum wage proposed by P. Gattaz and which Laurence Parisot sums up in A slavery logic *Tolstoi slavery of our time * the kafala system of total submission of the worker to the boss, and which is used for immigrants who build stadiums of the World Cup in Qatar. 2) factor of inequalities * employee of the precariousness of Serge Paugam * habitus of Bourdieu (other examples not noted) * which can be translated in the urban space the ghetto of the ghotta of mrs and mr pinçon-charlot who explains that the social classes resulting from different work is found in the urban space and threatens social cohesion 3) the working conditions which prevent any integration * Lewis Hine, Men at work, denunciation of the working conditions of the skyboys during the construction of the Empire state Building (1930-1931) * Illegal work which denies any membership or social right * assembly line work which renounces the aim of integration in favor of a search for greater profit. * right to laziness, Paul Lafargue: the work that discourages the worker from all hope in the collective * cf the capital and the manuscripts of 44 by K. Karl Marx * judgment in 2007 of the responsibility of Renault in the suicide attempt of one of its employees.. non-assistance: work as dehumanizing. partial conclusion: same model as for the big 1 I say that work can set up inequalities, promote segregation, a certain hierarchy of individuals. What do you think ??

  3. hello, does it matter if I only did 2 parts in my essay because I see that everyone has done 3??

  4. also took the job. Do not hesitate to criticize: Hook: Unedic forecast published in the week on the increase in the number of unemployed until the end of 2015, raises the question of the integration of these people into society Analysis: Definitions distinction always in the sense in all cases and in the temporal sense Pbq (which I find very limited): > To what extent does work fulfill its function of social integration? Plan: I) Work plays a fundamental role and allows social integration A) Main source of socialization (relationship with others collective solidarity – Karl Marx – Socialization through conflict) B) Recognition of the group and society (money for soc of C° autonomy= knowing how to manage recognition utility by society for the purpose of work and for the value of work) II). However, work can also complicate this social integration A) Source of divisions which undermine social cohesion (vertical and horizontal conflict individualization since the ’70s – illustrated by Peugeot Sochaux factories in the return to working conditions – B) Destabilization of society through suffering at work (physical/psychological hardship, stress, harassment, burnout – like that of A.Selly in When the W kills you – Individual causes put forward by MEDEF=santé et al. underlined by unions=working conditions) III) Non-work as a factor of social integration? A) Depending on the case, unemployment may or may not be a means of integration into society (social disintegration with isolated and stigmatized unemployed BUT there are cases where voluntary unemployment allows travel and social integration with the phenomenon of fun unemployment in the USA) B) The time off work can be an important factor of social integration (leisure, associations such as Restos du Coeur work considered as only one leg of the tripod on which invests – P. Légéron – rethinking the place of work with reduced duration and disenchantment for the benefit of the pol sphere which would be the basis of the social link – D. Méda) Cl° with an opening on the myth of the end of work (Rifkin)

  5. @suseb: Definition of integration looks relevant. It is a good sign to have discovered this paradox, between an isolated individual (despite the development of a mass society) and the whole formed by the workers. It is an interesting approach to the question.

  6. Hello, so I defined integration and I came across the fact that the elements of an integrated body are integrated by their relationship to each other, but contemporary work (division of labor, individualistic society) isolates the worker from other workers but nevertheless form a whole. From my problem is how to conceive this paradoxical work, which is a vector of an integration which does not bring men together? For the development I used about the same ideas as those presented here. What do you think?

  7. Good evening, I also took the question on the work but I ask myself a lot of questions because I am afraid of having been a little too historical. Indeed all my I. was more historical than current, I expose you my outline in order to help you better understand my approach: I. Work was indeed a factor of social integration (temporal dimension of always as still) A_ Conception of work in Greek Antiquity B_ Reversal of status ( bondage → integration) II. However, it has become THE social integration factor par excellence. A_ The Fourth Republic: Welfare State, guaranteeing full employment: standard enabling the working class to get out of poverty (full-time permanent contract): material integration. B_ Spiritual integration: the need for recognition and the feeling of belonging. C_ Yet one can work and not be integrated: child labor in cocoa farms. III. Having become the factor of integration par excellence, it is thereby a factor of exclusion for those who have none or no longer have one. A_ The rise in the unemployment rate and its challenges. B_ Attempts to remedy this (0h contract in England, Alain Suppiot’s proposals) C_ Sometimes a factor of exclusion even for those who have it: 1/3 of homeless people work, burnout not recognized as an occupational disease. I would like to have opinions; do you think it can be penalizing knowing that the test is called CONTEMPORARY questions? Or, as the question also had a temporal dimension, it was possible to do a whole part on a chronological evolution? Thanks in advance to anyone who tries to help me out 🙂

  8. think it’s pretty good, finally it correction the question. It remains to see how you put it!

  9. passed the exam, I really didn’t think it was so tiring. Sleeping 4 hours a night and spending 8 hours working is pretty terrible. I took the question WORK, which seemed more concrete to me. Basically I made the following plan. Intro: (I defined, I spoke of unemployment, I said that the unemployed were socially disintegrated, and I took the opportunity to make a transition by saying, conversely, are the workers always integrated socially? 1. Work can be a factor of social integration… – We rub shoulders with people (colleagues, customers) (A survey had been published saying that 30% of French people consider their colleagues as friends) – We is integrated into society (we get up, we take the metro, we are integrated into the crowd of people going to work) – We benefit from a salary in exchange for work, which allows us to integrate into the society of consumption. It also allows for leisure, etc. 2. …But this is not always the case – I spoke of low wages, I said that there were people who worked but earning a low salary, they could not really fit in – There are jobs that lead to loneliness (farming tors: surrounded by animals and land, often cut off from the world, and the links they can have with the outside are often difficult, as with bankers for example, when they have large loans to repay for their tractor or other ) – I played on the word ALWAYS in a temporal sense. I said that the boundaries were increasingly blurred between the different social classes, that there was no longer any real sense of belonging (I spoke briefly about Karl Marx) and that this led to a reduction in integration within society (at least within our professional group) What do you think?

  10. took subject 2 for my part! My outline (in a simplified version): I. On the surface, it does indeed seem that a single globalized culture can lead to a certain homogenization. è Here I mainly have the example of American culture, American “soft power”, France’s resistance to this culture, the Americanization of the world, Mc Donalds, American TV series, and even a capitalist culture which permeates and plunges us into a consumer society. Cultures are exported: rising resistance in North Korea to the attraction of China → attraction for culture which is globalizing. II. However, to admit that culture is simply “one” culture, that is to say American culture, is too simplistic è Culture in fact represents a set of cultures, a plurality of cultures that is being built. Precisely globalization does not lead to homogenization but to a refusal to submit to a culture, as evidenced by the “cultural exception” defended by France not to submit to the USA. Indeed, cultures are constructed in opposition to others. III. But globalization does not only influence culture as a way of life, practices… It is also a more restricted sense, in a personal sense: general culture. Globalization as a tool for increasing one’s knowledge → diversification è Social classes. Today, cultural globalization allows everyone to have access to a very large amount of information (Wikipedia). Social classes are no longer homogeneous but are diversifying. (reference to Pierre Bourdieu, example of Rachida Dati) è For each person as well. Become aware of yourself, of your limits, learn = build yourself, in opposition, by breaking social determinism

Comments are closed.