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	The France of the Little-Middles

The France of the Little-Middles

A Suburban Housing Development in Greater Paris

Marie Cartier , Isabelle Coutant , Olivier Masclet , Yasmine Siblot
Trad. Juliette Rogers
Berghahn, Anthropology of Europe ,   [2016],  224 p.
Prix : £68,00

Translated by Juliette Rogers (traduction de La France des "Petits-moyens", La Découverte 2008).

The Poplars housing development in suburban Paris is home to what one resident called the “Little-Middles” – a social group on the tenuous border between the working- and middle- classes. In the 1960s The Poplars was a site of upward social mobility, which fostered an egalitarian sense of community among residents. This feeling of collective flourishing was challenged when some residents moved away, selling their homes to a new generation of upwardly mobile neighbors from predominantly immigrant backgrounds. This volume explores the strained reception of these migrants, arguing that this is less a product of racism and xenophobia than of anxiety about social class and the loss of a sense of community that reigned before.

Download: Introduction


Illustrations, Tables, and Maps Acknowledgements

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. The “Good Old Days”
  • Chapter 2. Children of the projects in quest of respectability
  • Chapter 3. Suburban Youth
  • Chapter 4. “They’re very nice, but…”: Encountering new foreign neighbors
  • Chapter 5. A vote of the white lower classes?

Appendices Appendix I: Interviews cited in the book Appendix II: Documents and sources

Bibliography Index



  • Marie Cartier is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Nantes, Researcher at CENS (Nantes Sociology Center, CNRS-University of Nantes), and Junior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France since 2010. She uses ethnographic methods to study the working-class through the lenses of employment and living spaces.
  • Isabelle Coutant is Researcher at CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research), based at IRIS (Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Social Issues). Her research concerns working-class relationships with institutions.
  • Olivier Masclet is Associate Professor at Paris Descartes Sorbonne Paris Cité and a researcher at the Center for Research on Social Connections since 2006. His research focuses on the cultural dimensions of class differentiation today and contemporary working-class lifestyles.
  • Yasmine Siblot is Professor of Sociology at the University of Paris 8, and is member of the research center CRESPPA-CSU (Urban Societies and Cultures) (CNRS-University of Paris 8). Her research interests lie in social class and political sociology.


  • Berghahn, "Anthropology of Europe", august 2016, 224 pages, 9 illus., bibliog., index. ISBN: 978-1-78533-228-9. eISBN 978-1-78533-229-6 (eBook) Prix : $110.00/£68.00 (hardback)

ISBN : 978-1-78533-228-9
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The France of the Little-Middles

A Suburban Housing Development in Greater Paris

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