Une étude de comportements et choix politiques des petits commerçants qui combine l'approche historique, ethnographique et statistique d'une catégorie trop longtemps négligée par les sciences sociales.
They are not dying out : renewal cornes from small wage-earners yearning to become independent. They hâve not always preferred the Right to the Left, and do not represent the National Front's « typical voter ». Such ideas about small French tradespeople are shown to be false by N. Mayer who combines the historical, ethnographie and statistical approaches in her study of a category too long neglected by the social sciences. It is their intermediary position, thus perceived in the social structure, which accounts for the political choices of the small tradespeople over nearly a century. Their view of the world is limited to the clash of only two classes. This view condemns them to ally themselves with one against the other or to disappear. It pits them as independents against wage earners, or as little ones against the big. Their identity is based on a double négation and on the nostalgia of a golden âge of trades, without supermarkets nor factories, without capitalists nor proletarians. Their vote is always cast « against », according to their proximity to thèse two pôles and their balance of power.