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ANR BIPAJE - The biographical bifurcation at the heart of the school to work transition process

a qualitative and quantitative approach in three societal contexts, France, Quebec and Argentina

Thursday 28 February 2013, by Last Update

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

- Par Claire Bidart : claire.bidart@univ-amu.fr

Notre carnet de recherche : http://bifurc.hypotheses.org

Bifurcations: changing job, changing life in France, Quebec, Argentina

The analysis of bifurcations in the careers of young people, for better understanding the biographical processes and their societal frameworks.

Some moments of life are much more dense in changes, and they lead to significant shifts in the life course. These turning points are characterized by unpredictability, radicality, contamination between the different life spheres, intentionality of the decision, and the irreversibility of the final reorientation. Bifurcations inform us a lot about forces governing the ordinary course of lives, just as these are entering a crisis, crumbling and clashing.

We aimed at identifying the arrangements of circumstances, events and decisions which formed the key moments. The international comparison allowed to put into perspective the social frameworks, institutional policies and cultural norms which frame paths and foster more or less the occurrence of bifurcations. Three sharply contrasting contexts are studied, France, Argentina and Quebec.
Several qualitative, quantitative and "trans-dimensional" methods, for varying the focus and producing innovative approaches.
This research is based upon the articulation of qualitative and quantitative surveys data. Similar qualitative surveys including long and deep interviews were implemented in each of the countries. These surveys are longitudinal, which means the same people were re-interviewed regularly, in order to understand the logics of action and their evolutions. In parallel, quantitative surveys, longitudinal too for the most part of them, were used in the three countries. These surveys made it possible to detect people who experienced bifurcations, to delimit their characteristics and to identify the key factors for their shifts. More over, cross-sectional and exploratory methods have been developed in order to perform new bridges between these two qualitative and quantitative dimensions. These tools and explorations aim at improving the social sciences methods for the analysis of careers incorporating unpredictability, mobility and flexibility. These methods are more adapted to the contemporaneous realities than the linear patterns based upon logics of continuity.

Major results of the project

The concept of bifurcation was first sharply conceptualized. Theoretical principles allowed to build its typical features. Bifurcations were then identified by diverse and complementary analyzes of objective and subjective data stemming from qualitative and quantitative surveys. We measured individual, professional and societal characteristics supporting or restraining bifurcations. We also described how they were occurring, in which configurations including events, social settings and representations.

- Scientific Team :

Claire Bidart and Vanessa Di Paola (LEST), Maria Eugenia Longo (LEST and CEIL-PIETTE), José Rose (University of Provence), Arnaud Dupray, Dominique Epiphane and Virginie Mora (Céreq, Marseille), Michel Grossetti (LISST-CERS, Toulouse), Sylvain Bourdon (University of Sherbrooke, Canada), Johanne Charbonneau (INRS, Montréal, Canada), Stéphane Moulin (University of Montréal), Mariana Busso and Pablo Perez (CEIL-PIETTE, Buenos-Aires, Argentine).

- BIPAJE LEST’s Publications :