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Time, Legal Consciousness and Power: The Case of France’s 35-Hour Workweek Laws

Abstract : This chapter examines France's "35-hour law," a workweek reduction effort developed by the French socialist government in order to fight unemployment, in 1997—1998. It focuses on workers who reduced their worktime after the passage of the 35-hour law. The social construction of the legality of the 35-hour week is studied through the lens of respondents' time consciousness as it is expressed by the employees and identified by the researcher. Both time and legal consciousness are related in a general sense as Greenhouse has demonstrated. A systematic and comprehensive examination of the vocabulary, categories, and ways in which the employees speak of their newfound "free time" allows an examination of how time consciousness reveals, in turn, legal consciousness. Through categorizations of time "freed up" by a 35-hour workweek, various forms of time consciousness and constructions of worktime legality have been analyzed.
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Jérôme Pélisse. Time, Legal Consciousness and Power: The Case of France’s 35-Hour Workweek Laws. Benjamin Fleury-Steiner; Laura-Beth Nielsen. New Civil Rights Research. A Constitutive Approach, Ashgate Publishing, pp.201 - 250, 2006, 0754624404. ⟨hal-03397940⟩

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