What do we meen when we talk about "flexibilité"?
As Jean-Claude Barbier shows in his presentation, we don't have the same meenings for one word (exemple: flexibility, flexibilité, Flexibilität). So the french sociologist shows us one of the sources of misunderstanding - one of the risks for our cooperation at the european level:
"Contemporary sociology in English analyses the transforming world of work from multiple perspectives1. Much of the current literature adopts the angle of flexibility (flexibility of work as well as flexibility of employment relationships – see Barbier et Nadel, 2000). There is no difficulty in translating the word flexibility2. Topics related to it include job insecurity, uncertain careers, worsening working conditions, downgraded access to standard social protection, etc.
Interestingly, the French sociological debate displays a clear difference to mainstream international approaches : it is dominantly focused on précarité de l’emploi (literally ‘employment precariousness’), a notion we will show very difficult to define and translate in cross-national3 comparison. This situation relates to the fact that in French sociology as well as in the French public debate, précarité has come to take multiple meanings, in such a way that the notion has been completely determined by its function in the political discourse." JC Barbier