France's #Nuit Debout Social Movement: Young People Rising up and Moral Emotions

Pickard, S and Bessant, J 2018, 'France's #Nuit Debout Social Movement: Young People Rising up and Moral Emotions', Societies, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 1-22.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size
n2006087857.pdf Published Version application/pdf 418.35KB
Title France's #Nuit Debout Social Movement: Young People Rising up and Moral Emotions
Author(s) Pickard, S
Bessant, J
Year 2018
Journal name Societies
Volume number 8
Issue number 4
Start page 1
End page 22
Total pages 22
Publisher M D P I AG
Abstract Set against a backdrop of austerity and neoliberal policies affecting many young people adversely, the Nuit Debout protest movement in France began in March 2016 when people gathered in public spaces to oppose the Socialist government's plan to introduce neoliberal labour legislation. Like other post-2008 movements, Nuit Debout was leaderless, non-hierarchical, and relied on social media for political communication and to mobilise participants. The Nuit Debout was also a movement inspired by powerful moral-political emotions such as righteous anger and hope. In this article, the authors address two questions. First, what features of Nuit Debout distinguished it from earlier social movements in France? Second, what role did moral emotions play in mobilising people to act as they did? Drawing on interviews with young protestors and their own testimonies, we argue that Nuit Debout was a distinctive form of protest for France. One distinguishing feature was the way young people-the "precarious generation"-were motivated by a strong sense of situated injustice, much of which related to what they saw as the unfairness of austerity policies, being deprived of a decent future and the feeling they had been betrayed by governments.
Subject Social and Cultural Anthropology
Sociology not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Young people
Social movements
Political participation
Moral-political emotions
Labour laws
Nuit Debout
DOI - identifier 10.3390/soc8040100
Copyright notice © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article (CC BY) license (
ISSN 2075-4698
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Altmetric details:
Access Statistics: 35 Abstract Views, 25 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Thu, 21 Feb 2019, 12:10:00 EST by Catalyst Administrator
© 2014 RMIT Research Repository • Powered by Fez SoftwareContact us