active life. The National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) carries out regular surveys of cultural practices. In the sector of sports, the statistics unit in the Ministry of sport and the National Institute of Sport and Physical Education (INSEP) provides both data and analysis on practices in the sport sector. The Evaluation and Prospects division (DEP) in the Ministry of Education carries out annual studies on pupil orientation and results.
France also obtains regular statistics on youth issues from INSEE (National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies), which conducts living conditions surveys by age group and theme, an ongoing survey of household living standards, etc. The CREDOC (Centre of research for the study and observation of living conditions) provides more highly targeted data on consumption, as does the Ministry of Employment on ‘inclusion”, while the CEVIPOF (Centre for political research in Sciences Po, Paris) provides data on political participation and the department of studies, prospects and statistics (DEPS) in the Ministry of Culture and Communication on cultural practices. The Ministry of Agriculture has a statistics tool designed to follow the career paths of the students who pass through agricultural college.
Last but not least, one of the tasks devolved for INJEP (National institute of youth and popular education), which works in the non formal education sector under the aegis of the Ministry of Health, Youth, Sports and Associative Life, is to promote the research done on youth issues. While not exactly having a coordinating role, this mission requires bringing together all the work done in the research area. INJEP also continues to develop its own research activities directly with its overseeing authority.
Ongoing research projects include: Ö changes in young French people’s value systems; Ö the appropriation of ‘youth information’ by young people; Ö adolescents and their relationships with leisure associations; Ö transformations of public policies by young people; Ö professionalisation of group leader and project leader functions for those working with young people in the cultural sector.
All the above are either naturally supported by research activities or directly based on research work. This means that political decision-makers already have a battery of tools to help them reach informed decisions. Civil society has also set up its own research tools. The major youth and popular education associations, such as the Ligue de l’enseignement, CEMEA (Centre for training on active educational methods), the Leo Lagrange National Federation, the French Federation of youth and culture centres and the Confederation of French youth and culture centres, along with the Scout movement, also produce research, some of which is on youth issues3.
3 To find out more, consult Arnaud Loustalot, Valorisation des études financées par le CDVA [Conseil du développement de la vie associative] (1898-2003), INJEP, Marly-le-Roi, 2008 (to be published).