The Polarization of the French society: a study of the Yellow Vests movement
AuthorValentin, Justine Victoria
On November 17th, 2018, French people, wearing a yellow security vest, came together in the streets of the big cities and on the roundabouts of the country towns. This movement stood out as particularly violent, on the part of the Yellow Vests, especially in Paris, and by severe repression on the part of the government. What was then called the Yellow Vests movement highlighted Social Polarization, as Structural Violence revealed social patterns. From a sociological and constructivist approach, this paper aims to understand the different actors and their role in the polarization of society in the specific conflict that was the Yellow Vests movement. The thesis questions the construction of values and norms and the perpetration of ancient cleavages in today’s French society. It analyses the consequences of prolonged embedded Structural Violence on the different ways people identify, creating a polarization of identities. Furthermore, this paper researches the media’s impact on the polarization of French society and how it became a tool of power. In conclusion, this study aims to investigate how different actors participated in the polarization of French society in the context of the Yellow Vests movement. This study was conducted using critical discourse analysis on thirty-five newspaper articles from six different newspapers and on fifteen interviews with four different actors, namely, Yellow Vests, journalists, police officers, and politicians. The analysis made in this research highlights the particular impact of media on public opinion and how they are used to pursue personal and political goals. Key findings suggest that the conflict emphasized an opposition between the privileged and the underprivileged and significant Structural Violence between the different economic classes. It also emphasizes the importance of Identification and Othering in the manufacturing of Structural Violence. This research stands within the scope of research about social movements and peace and conflict studies. Conclusively, I summarize the ”situation” with a discussion of possible solutions that could contribute to a more Positive Peace in the effort to end Structural Violence in France.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
MetadataShow full item record
Copyright 2022 The Author(s)
The following license file are associated with this item: