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Journal Articles Socio-Economic Review Year : 2021

The yellow vests roundabout revolt, seen through the lens of household budgets

Abstract

The ‘yellow vest movement’ that emerged in France in Autumn 2018 raises a serious question for political economy, because many of those who participated did not come from the most fragile sectors of the population. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, but also quantitative data, this article takes an in-depth look at the household budget of one ‘yellow vest’ family. It reveals the increasing tensions lower middle-class peri-urban families are confronted with, and the different ways they address them. In order to understand how they make ends meet, various spheres like the labour and housing market, the transport system, and social mobility must absolutely be interconnected. Contemporary economic reforms impact heavily on these households, lending support to the argument of an ‘attack on household budgets’, particularly as far as road transport is concerned. This approach also allows us to observe the gap between the socio-economic reality of these people and the overly unidimensional statistical indicators available. This budgetary data paves the way for a fair comparison with other contemporary political changes—Brexit for example—to see if similar mechanisms are at work in those cases.
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Dates and versions

hal-03455804 , version 1 (20-12-2021)

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Pierre Blavier. The yellow vests roundabout revolt, seen through the lens of household budgets. Socio-Economic Review, In press, ⟨10.1093/ser/mwab021⟩. ⟨hal-03455804⟩

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