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In this article, the author offers a typology of the forms of social mediation as they are currently developing in France. Using an inductive approach that takes account of the range of experiences observable in this field of social action, Fathi Ben Mrad points to the main components of mediation in the urban setting. In spite of the diversity of designations and missions, two major ideal-types emerge. On the one hand, the article identifies experiences of regulation aimed at conflict resolution, on the other hand, schemes designed mainly to combat uncivil behaviour and perceived insecurity. The two modes relate to specific forms of intervention and kinds of dispute that mediators attempt to deal with. The work of Coser on forms of conflict appear particularly appropriate to distinguish between modes of mediation. The typology is also based on the distinctive profiles of some participants in mediation who are strongly identified by their socio-cultural belonging and closeness to the street. Finally, the typology also makes it possible to question the more or less implicit principles on which such mediation practices are based and to raise questions about the implications of such functions in terms of expertise and ethnicity.

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