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Numéro 76 Septembre 1997

Ville, emploi, chômage

Martin Vanier
Peripheral conurbanization and employment linked to social reproduction

The progression of jobs related to social
reproduction is accompanied by an unprecedented
widening of the territory of daily
life. This spatial spreading-out corresponds
to the segmentation of activities,
such as through flexible work hours or
precarious work status’for jobs which are
part of the peripheral commercial platforms.
In towns and villages scattered outside
the agglomerations, social and individual
services develop outside that salary
model found in Fordism.

Hélène Hatzfeld, Marc Hatzfeld, Nadja Ringart
In some city alleyways, the problem of employment works itself out

Forms of employment which don’t correspond
exactly to the norms of official
economics develop in the alleys and
courtyards of certain districts of Paris
and its suburbs. Those working in semiclandestine
garment workshops, hairdressing
shops, audiovisuel studios or
furniture restoration workshops cohabit,
forming small consolidated communities
closely adjusted to variations in economic
flux. Between intense exploitation
of immigrant labor and economic
rigidities, these little pockets in the city
create forms of contractual labor which
render work permeable to life in society.

Alain Tarrius
Young and unemployed in the city : working and drifting

Sharing poverty and new civilities
In the past, the city of Perpignan represented
a stage in the social mobility of
young and unqualified people who came
there from the surrounding countryside
looking for work. Today, like so many
other provincial cities, Perpignan has
become both the center and the end of
the road for those with meager hopes of
finding a job. More mobile than boys,
girls adapt more easily to the restraints
of conventional employment. But for
young « street people », meeting up with
others like themselves in the city’s center
or in the district of Saint Matthew
prevents them from becoming isolated
in a marginal culture and some begin
their worklife by moonlighting in the
vicinity or even farther away in other
European or Mediterranean countries.

Corinne Siino, Michel de Bernardy, Michel Grossetti
The crisis of unemployment in cities with a heavy scientific potential

For the last twenty years, Grenoble and
Toulouse have been examples of cities
where scientific and technical employment
depends on a high-level university
base. Recently, due to the economic
recession, the period of time necessary
for highly qualified candidates to find a
job has become almost identical to that
required by candidates with average
qualifications. One cannot for as much
conclude that the two categories of candidates
are in competition with one another.
The recent efforts of high-level executives
to create strategies for combatting
unemployment and encouraging
economic insertion have contributed to
the development of forms of employment
adapted to the fluctuation of the

Muriel Tabariés
Finance : an innovating metropolitan

The Paris metropolitan area, implanted
with business headquarters’, ministries
and research centers, is the perfect
example of a control center for economic
activity. For a long while in the
background of the other financial platforms
of the world, the Parisian financial
circle has caught up by taking
advantage of the regional fabric composed
of specialized training of a highly
technical nature. In spite of fondamental
problems which are still difficult to
resolve, the different Parisian financial
spheres collaborate to form a local pressure
group which has permitted their
entry onto the world financial scene.

Christine Beauviala-Ripert, Yves Saillard
The local significance of public employment

Caught up between the State and local
institutions, caracterized by differentiated
status’, divided up into diverse qualifications,
the nebulous of public
employment in Grenoble represents
almost 40%of all salaried workers. The
creation of temporary public posts is a
way of reducing the level of unemployment.
The fluctuation in the number of
workers depends primarily on national
politics, but the municipalities and their
numerous private or semi-public appendages
contribute to the growth of a new
supply for employment.

Thierry Fellmann, Bernard Morel
Employment systems in the Marseille

In the context of a growing confrontation
between the ultraliberal model
which de-regulates work, and the
mixed economy model which protects
employment status’, several differenciated
work systems are created and
coexist. In the Marseille metropolitan
area, one distinguishes three principal
systems : that of the entrepreneurial,
trading and public tertiary sector, that
of very small businesses and that of the
large national groups. Whether central
or peripheral, metropolitan spaces more
or less correspond to these employment
systems. These spaces are connected
by the highway network, while public
interventions develop outside entrepreneurial

César Centi
Discrimination and urban development

The development of services induced
by urbanization reproduces the social
and economic contrasts between towns
which are part of the same urban center.
In the context of the wearing away of
the industrial fabric, as in Marseille,
competition between townships contributes
to the spatial segregation of riches
and guaranteed income. The centrifugal
explosion of industries and residential
areas in the urban center is accelerated
by projects undertaken jointly by the
State and local institutions, which
encourage these differences.

Dominique Duprez
Caught between discrimination and « dis-affiliation »

The experience of young people of
North African descent

In many housing projects, young
people of North African descent feel
excluded from the work market, objectively
« dis-affiliated ». For them, their
ethnic origins, the poor reputation of
their part of town, or scholastic failure
are just so many obstacles to their
entry into active life. Taking refuge in
the religious islamic community or
living from moonlighting or illicit activities
like drug dealing permit them
to replicate a way of life promised to
them in the public school system. This
situation threatens the Republic
through the creation of a widening
phenomenon of « negative citizenship
 », activated by feelings of exclusion
from both the work market

Philippe Bataille, Claire Schiff
Discrimination in hiring

The example of the region of Alès
National statistics tell us that among
young people with equal qualifications,
those of North African descent have
more difficulty finding work. In Alès,
in the South of France, new electronic
and mechanical industries created since
the reconversion of the former mining
basin, hire almost no young people of
North African ascendance. This exclusion
is the result of a combination of
attitudes and implicit rules which make
racial discrimination « natural ». This
study, realized for the CFDT labor
union, provoked a certain awareness of
the problem and demanded that hiring
procedures be modified to respect republican
civil rights.

Emmanuelle Santelli
Entrepreneurs and executives of Algerian origin in Lyons

In France, choices made by Algerian
immigrants in family, residential and
scholastic matters partly determine whether
their children have access to positions
as salaried executives or independant
contractors. A study in the Lyons
area shows that parents of executives
most often have more schooling than
average immigrants of the same origin,
and that they deliberately put emphasis
on schooling and on relationships outside
their ethnic community. On the
contrary, children who later created their
own businesses gave priority, along with
their parents, to the support of the widespread
family and the network of intracommunity

Evelyne Perrin
The city and employment : looking for a new « virtuous circle »

During the « Thirty Glorious Years »,
urbanization developped according to
a national and functional model which
associated the expansion of industrial
production and mass consumption.
With the recomposition of international
economy, the plurality and the
variety of urban activity became an
advantage for cities where work was
becoming scarce, but at the same time
employment norms became more and
more precarious, creating social and
spatial cleavage. Because of this,
cities have become the major actors in
the employment situation, not only as
employers, but also as the promoters
of original economic partnerships and
new methods of regulating employment.

Pierre-Yves Léo, Jean Philippe
Expansion of the service sector and « metropolization »

Which strategies for long-term
development ?

For the last fifteen years, the growth of
market services for companies and of
collective services has been greater than
that of trading and private services to
households. The largest cities draw the
most prestigious of these activites : high
technology, representation, cultural
industries, etc. Increased employment
is attracted by the pole of the diversified
tertiary sector et repulsed by the
pole of specialized industry and poorlystructured
medium-sized towns. Local
services are weak remedies for the social
rift which accompanies this economic
and spatial polarization.

Christian Longhi
The dynamics of urban spaces

Innovation and the work market
The mixture of chance and necessity that
made Silicone Valley in California the
universal model of the « technopolis »
cannot be reproduced from one country
to another. The industrial districts of the
« Third Italy » owe their success to
cooperation existing between industries
which are geographically remote. In the
framework of the current recomposition
of industrial spaces in Torino, Wales and
Cologne, the mobilization of local, cultural
or university resources by the technological
parks is indispensable in the
establishment of productive relations
between urban centers.

Saskia Sassen
Employment schemes in the service sector and new social inequalities

The rise to power of information and the
economy of finance has produced a new
landscape of social inequality. The specialization
and the « technicalization »
of services has deepened the ditch between
the world of qualified status-holding
workers and non-qualified workers
in precarious situations. In this period
of social change, business loses its structuring
role in favor of a free market for
talent on the one hand and of family and
community networks on the other. In
the large urban centers, market places
for world finance, these polarities are