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Journal Articles French Politics Year : 2022

Shedding light on the Yellow Vests movement through its spatial dimension, from the gathering places to the origins of the participants

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Abstract

Yellow vests gatherings spread across France in late November 2018, and arose mostly in peripheral France, where social movements are not used to appear. This movement have been already studied through its spatial dimension, but without sources and methods being always unequivocal and deconstructed. In this context, our proposal aims to getting things straight among all the available sources and data which document the spatial dimension of the YV movement during the first months of the contestation. Through a monograph in Normandy, maps and a geostatistical study of YV gatherings at a national scale, we first highlight the disseminated, simultaneous but temporary YV appropriations of different strategic spaces in the margins of small towns, before massive and repeated central gatherings, which underlines the politicization of the movement. Then we explore the “Jaune vif” database, which is very relevant since it is the only source that documents both the gathering and the daily life spaces of protestors, essentially peri-urban or rural dwellers and inhabitants of small towns in the beginning, whose lifestyles and daily life spaces, often marginalized or depreciated, have been there brought to the forefront of politics. Even if some of them carried on mobilizing far from their home, the centralization of the movement appears to be coupled with a centralization of the protestors, who were gradually more metropolitan and used to social movements, structuring the movement at a broader scale.
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halshs-03832223 , version 1 (03-12-2022)

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Étienne Walker, Pierre Blavier. Shedding light on the Yellow Vests movement through its spatial dimension, from the gathering places to the origins of the participants. French Politics, 2022, French Politix, 20, pp.318-345. ⟨10.1057/s41253-022-00187-9⟩. ⟨halshs-03832223⟩
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