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In 2009, French employment services and benefit agencies merged within “Pôle Emploi” with a view to creating a body of 35,000 job counselors as good at job matching as at benefits law. Even though implementing unemployment insurance was seen as “dirty work” within the employment services, some of these workers learned how to calculate benefits and thereby acquired an upward position in work collectives. From an ethnographical point of view, we would like to stress these reconstructions so as to examine the links between the prescription of a specific policy and the ecology of workers mandated to apply it.

Jean-Marie Pillon
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