Everyday categorizations of French social space. Analysis based on a card game
Although many studies have examined the ability of socio-occupational classification to objectify social class divisions, there are very few that study their correspondence with the everyday categorisations used by French people in their thinking about society. Based on a “card game” inspired by the survey by Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot in the early 1980s, this article describes everyday class rankings in order to assess their degree of convergence with official classifications, and particularly with socio-economic classification. Conducted with a sample of 547 persons, our survey shows the presence of shared rationales and typical variations within what are assumed to be the highly differentiated rankings used by people. In fact the majority of these categorizations rely on occupational criteria that are ordered according to a hierarchical logic (by distinguishing between employed and self-employed, and then according to an internal classification amongst the employed), or in terms of occupation (by trade and occupational sector), and they confirm a form of internalization of official divisions within the social world.
Key words. EVERYDAY CATEGORISATIONS – CLASSIFICATION – OCCUPATIONS AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC CATEGORIES – EXPERIMENTATION – QUANTIFICATION