Women Far from Employment Facing the Test of Inclusion: Participation in “Remobilization” Actions as a Springboard for Socio-Professional Integration?

Laurence Costes, Hakima Mounir

Laurence Costes is a professor of Sociology at the Université Paris-Est-Créteil (UPEC), within the UFR SESS-STAPS. She is deputy director of the LIRTES laboratory (UR 7313). Her research focuses on the relationship between urban policies, social policies and the characteristics of urban and suburban areas. Her research focuses on the forms of appropriation that contribute to the reconfiguration of these territories, and on social policies applied to so-called “priority” neighborhoods. It also focuses on the practices and experiences of citizen participation, and even demands, implemented at local level, and their potential for reflexivity on housing, living.

Hakima Mounir is a socio-historian and senior lecturer in sociology at the Université Paris Est Créteil (UPEC), within the UFR SESS-STAPS. Her work falls within the field of sociology of immigration and social intervention, and focuses on issues of immigration and gender in a comparative perspective between Europe (France, Italy, and the Netherlands) and the Maghreb. This involves a “non-culturalist” approach to conflicts between tradition and modernity, and to power and authority relationships within Maghrebi families and their presence in the host society. She is also developing research into social intervention and the training of social work managers.

OBJECTIVE: In order to promote integration through economic activity for people who have strayed a long way from employment, France is developing local social and professional support policies such as what is termed “remobilization” schemes. Based on research conducted with women who have taken part in these schemes, this article aims at reviewing the effects of such measures on the inclusion and integration of women into the labour market. THEORETICAL BASE: The theoretical approach stands between authors who believe that social intervention measures aim to control and assist beneficiaries and those who, on the contrary, favour a conception of beneficiaries as strategists and utilitarians. METHODOLOGY: The methodology is based on an ethnographic approach based on observation and interviews. OUTCOMES: The results underline that the effectiveness of these schemes lies mainly upstream of professional integration: while participation in these actions does not necessarily lead to employment, it does constitute a first step for these women in the face of the test of social inclusion. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: Regarding these implications for social work, the results show that a less vertical relationship between the person being supported and the professional would encourage access to emancipation. Encouraging diversity in the training offered would therefore help to steer women towards jobs that are not confined to care work.

social policies, inclusion, integration through economic activity, remobilization actions, support

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