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The French Communist Party and the working classes 1920s–1970s): a perspective from local activism

Abstract : Drawing on research conducted in several areas in France, this article shows that the communist movement was based on the formation of a militant elite based in heavy industry. Party leadership by industrial skilled workers led to the marginalisation of certain blue-collar groups (women, low-skilled workers,immigrants) and other non-elite social groups (agricultural workers, shopkeepers, artisans). We also emphasise the fact that working-class social networks provided fertile ground for communist activism, while also constraining collective action to some degree. These networks had an impact on the forms of engagement within the party, which might be out of sync with the norms set out by the national leaders of the Communist Party. At the local level, activism drew on both political actions by party leaders and the daily activities of the working classes.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02641824
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 5:48:14 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 8, 2021 - 12:04:02 PM

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Julian Mischi, Katharine Throssell. The French Communist Party and the working classes 1920s–1970s): a perspective from local activism. French Politics, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, 10 (2), pp.160-180. ⟨10.1057/fp.2012.8⟩. ⟨hal-02641824⟩

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