The transformations of commitment viewed from below

Special report: Trade unionization in France
The case of the CGT in the north of France
By Jean-Gabriel Contamin, Roland Delacroix

Since the middle of the nineties, it is largely accepted that forms of activist commitment have changed in western democracies. However, few studies have empirically dealt with this thesis. This article aims at questioning this hypothesis by focusing from a local point of view on one of the organizations which is often shown as a symbol of disappearing forms of commitment: the Confédération générale du travail (CGT). Studying quantitatively and qualitatively the multi-commitments of CGT members in the Département du Nord, it can be proved that, if some elements might corroborate the hypothesis, others are more ambiguous, in particular the disjunction between the individual level and the organizational level. A disjunction which should be questioned from a sociological and methodological point of view.


Go to the article on