Social Indicators and Social Space in Paris and São Paulo

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 08:45
Oral Presentation
Graziela PEROSA, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Frédéric LEBARON, École normale supérieure de Cachan, France
This paper presents an empirical study of social divisions in the cities of Paris and São Paulo. These urban configurations have been selected in order to understand the relationships between universal factors of differentiation and those which appear specific to a given urban context. In particular, the notion of social space, as developed by Bourdieu in La distinction (1979), allows us to develop a new perspective by insisting on the objective dimensions of social life, without abandoning the "subjective" dimensions.

On the basis of data produced and made accessible by INSEE (the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies) and IBGE (the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) at various spatial levels, our approach consists in exploring the social space of these cities, and more precisely in analyzing the spatial distribution of social groups, living conditions and of various sets of practices, especially those related to schooling.

The analysis is therefore based on a relevant set of “objective” social indicators, such as socio-demographic characteristics, residence conditions and access to public infrastructure, but other indicators on the aspects of behavior likely to be perceived as "subjective" will also be included. The comparison of this common set of variables between both cities makes it possible to grasp the different structures of variations insides both social spaces.

Methodologically, Geometric Data Analysis helps us to analyze simultaneously a large set of variables, to synthesize the most relevant dimensions of social spaces, to proceed to comparisons by constructing clouds of points and visualizing with simple tools the deviations between various spatial units.

This research investigates the objective living conditions, practices and beliefs together, and, in its conclusion, particularly insists on the particular relationships between education and employment in both contexts and on the prospects for social advancement for popular and middle classes families.