Research

 

Research Interest

  • Life course and social emotions (social anger, loneliness)
  • Youth, ages, intergenerational relationships in contemporary societies
  • International and intra-national comparisons
  • Mixed methods: statistics, interviews, ethnography

. Main ongoing research

« Social Anger »

  • Anger as social and political emotion among young generations (Montreal, Santiago de Chile, Madrid, Paris, Hong-Kong).
  • Young NEET, life course and social anger (comparison Quebec/Ontario, Canada).

« Loneliness » :

  • Loneliness and isolation throughout life course. This research was awarded the Senior Prize in research for the Red Cross / Social Bond Foundation.
  • Youth and Loneliness

« Youth, social experiences and mental health » (Montreal, Quebec).

Holder of the Canada Research Chair on Social Inequalities and Life Course

 

Life Course and Social Emotions

My current work aims to better understand the links between the experience of inequality and the global rise of certain social and political emotions (such as social anger, frustration, or loneliness). To this end, I implement a comparative approach to life courses: its fundamental contribution is to explore the relationships between neoliberalism, the social experiences and political attitudes. This international comparison approach has a twofold objective: 1. identify the dimensions of life courses that converge across borders, and highlight the main common tensions that mark the conduct of lives in the second decade of the 21st century; 2. analyse the role of States and public policies in the genesis and regulation of these tensions, in the main inequalities that structure them, and thus identify potential levers for action.

Some Research Contributions

VAN DE VELDE Cécile (ed.), « Solitudes contemporaines » (Contemporary Loneliness), Sociologie et Société, vol. 1, n.1, 272 p., 2018. 

Is a sociology of loneliness possible? On what empirical fronts can it be structured and what can it contribute to the understanding of contemporary bonds and their inequalities? This issue aims to contribute to the decompartmentalization and structuring of a sociology of loneliness: it opens up spaces for dialogue between different social worlds of loneliness, in order to better integrate loneliness into the complex movement of our bonds throughout life. From the most radical solitudes to the most « ordinary » solitudes, the articles collected aim to explore solitude where it is not always expected, whether at different stages of life (young people, parental leave, the elderly), with contrasting social groups (disaffiliated populations, adults with mental health problems), in different spheres of life (daily, family, social), and in different activities (reading, eating). The objective of this dialogue is to de-segment the field and invest new angles of approach, in order to better understand and reveal contemporary solitudes and the inequalities that structure them.

GIRET Jean-François, VAN DE VELDE Cécile, VERLEY Elise (eds), Les vies étudiantes. Tendances et inégalités (Student lives. Trends and inequalities), Paris, La Documentation Française, 312 p., 2016. 

This book focuses on the student condition and the inequalities that affect them in the second decade of the 21st century. Based on the three-year « Living Conditions of Students » survey (41,000 students representing a representative sample of the student population in France) conducted in 2013 and 2014 and directed at the Observatoire National de la Vie Etudiante by the book’s coordinators, it provides a precise insight into their living conditions and provides food for thought for future debates on higher education in France and elsewhere in the world. This book analyses not just one, but several student lives, identifying trends and inequalities in terms of resources, the articulation of life and study times, the relationship to the future, but also the vulnerabilities experienced and perceived.

VAN DE VELDE,Cécile, Sociologie des âges de la vie (Sociology of the Ages of Life), Collection 128, Dunod, 128 p., 2015.

From childhood to old age, how are the different periods of life structured today? What does it mean to be « young » or « old » in our contemporary societies? This book provides an updated mapping of the sociology of the ages of life, through its tools, contributions and perspectives. It allows us to better think about the way in which ages are structured and how our lives are transformed. Its development was based on a scientific principle: breaking with a compartmentalized conception of ages, in order to give a reading, from birth to death, of the challenges and metamorphoses of contemporary life courses. It compares the main sociological approaches to existences – the prism of « ages », the prism of « paths », the prism of « generations » – and shows how they are challenged by increasingly blurred and complex boundaries between education, work and retirement. By opening up to international comparison, he analyses how the different social models structure the development of ages and the coexistence of generations, and how they are evolving today in the wake of the « crisis ».

PEUGNY Camille, VAN DE VELDE Cécile (des), « Repenser les inégalités entre générations » (Rethinking Intergenerational Inequalities)Revue Française de Sociologie, vol. 54, n.4, 2013. 

From the mid-1990s onwards, numerous studies have highlighted the historical opportunities faced by the first baby boom cohorts and highlighted the deteriorated situation faced by the following generations in comparison: the theme of intergenerational inequalities then occupies an increasing place in international sociological literature. Almost two decades later, this special issue of the Revue Française de Sociologie provides an update on the current situation and the scope of the analysis in terms of intergenerational inequalities. While stressing the importance of the achievements of this work, he called for the opening of new research fronts: thinking about the articulation between several generations to get out of the opposition between two generations; thinking together about inter-generational and intra-generational inequalities; articulating social inequalities and family solidarity between generations; raising the question of a possible awareness of the generation and its political manifestations, in order to enrich the analysis of these inequalities.

BECQUET Valérie, LONCLE Patricia, VAN DE VELDE Cécile (eds), Politiques de jeunesse : le grand malentendu (Youth Policies : the big misunderstanding), Edition Champs social, 2012.

Become « autonomous », « inserted » and « citizen »: this book deciphers, through the three main words that structure them, the relations between public policies and youth within French society. Indeed, these notions of autonomy, integration and citizenship now delimit youth policies, as much as they polarize public and media debates on the younger generations. The book aims to deconstruct these screenwords, to analyze their ideological foundations and follow these policies in their path to practices. While the question of the relationship between the State and young people is not new in sociology, few analyses propose to compare, through the prism of the same words, the dynamics of politics and those of practices. Through these three concepts, this book thus invites us to measure their effects and their possible mismatch with the social needs they are supposed to meet.

VAN DE VELDE Cécile, Devenir adulte. Sociologie comparée de la jeunesse en Europe (Becoming an Adult. Comparative Sociology of Youth in Europe), Presses Universitaires de France, 2008. 

By comparing the family and professional backgrounds of young adults in Denmark, the United Kingdom, France and Spain, this book provides a map of the transition to adulthood in Western Europe and analyses its main political, economic and cultural foundations. He received the Le Monde Academic Research Award. It is based on a vast survey material combining statistical analyses and qualitative data from the first six waves of the European Household Panel (1993-1999), and supplemented by more than 135 semi-directive interviews conducted with individuals aged 18 to 30 in Denmark, the United Kingdom, France and Spain. By questioning the role of public policies and social norms on life experiences, he contributed to the understanding of social contrasts in « becoming an adult » in Western Europe.

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