The Secession of French Elites | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

The Secession of French Elites

In previous articles, we have seen how French pollster Jérôme Fourquet in his The French Archipelago has statistically documented the rise of social liberalism, the growing presence and character of Muslims, and the general decline of shared identity in France.

Another crucial phenomenon is what Fourquet calls “the cultural, geographical, and ideological secession of the [French] elites” (p. 94). On the one hand, there is a certain retrenchment as French elite media have reduced influence and reach on the general population, on the other the elite is seeking to emancipate itself from the constraints of the people, evidenced by flight into gentrified neighborhoods, private schools, and outright expatriation.

The decline of the mainstream media

There has been a steady decline of French mainstream media over the past years. The television station TF1 used to enjoy a hegemonic share of 45% of viewers in 1988, falling to a mere 20% in 2017 (p. 80). News broadcasts, entertainment, and sporting events on TF1 meant “a very large part of the population experienced the same thing at the same time” (p. 79). Conversely, increased media pluralism has meant a decline in social consensus as “the leading mass media, with their large audiences, participated in the creation of a common and shared view of the world”