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It is not very convincing to explain the transformations of the professional universe of teachers by reference to an ??increased individualism' or the emergence of a new normative framework calling for more autonomy and networking, since this universe has long been characterized by established forms of individualism and pedagogical traditions centered around the development of individual autonomy. This paper explains these current transformations by focusing on what happens when newcomers start their jobs. It is based on the result of a survey combining data on the social trajectories of these new teachers with questions focusing on their first experiences on the job and on their expectations in terms of personal and professional development. What thus appears is a specific form of individualism related not so much to a utilitarian perspective, as to a political and institutional form of relativism and a premium placed on the immediate professional or private environments. This type of relationship to oneself and to others can function both as a form of resistance to institutional pressures and as an obstacle to collective organization.

Bertrand Geay
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