Life story survey in 2003 / HDV

Dernière mise à jour le : 08/12/2011

Présentation de l'opération

Organisme producteur :

Insee. Direction des statistiques démographiques et sociales (DSDS)

Partenariat :

- Research, studies and statistics department (Dares) of the Ministry for Labour;

- Research, studies, appraisal and statistics department (Drees) of the Ministry for Health;

- Interministerial Delegation for cities (DIV);

- Study group against discriminations (Geld);

- National institute of health and medical research (Inserm);

- National institute of demographic studies (Ined);

- Department of studies, planning and statistics (Deps) of the Ministry for Culture, formerly Department of studies and planning (DEP).

Type d'opération :


Objectifs :

The life story survey deals with the construction of identities, and the aim is to describe, prioritise, and analyse the different types of social links that enable individuals to integrate into French society at the beginning of the 21st century.

In the life story survey, identity is the way in which each individual constructs a place for himself in society, enabling him both to integrate socially and to affirm his own individuality.

The survey gives the opportunity to look at different aspects of people's social life (work, place of residence, leisure activities) and the social links that they have established throughout their lives.

It starts from the premise that in order to understand how an individual integrates into society, it is not only necessary to have available objective information (professional situation, family situation, state of health, centres of interest, etc.), but also to take into account more subjective elements (how people feel about painful experiences, such as isolation, discrimination, etc.).

Thèmes abordés :

The survey, which is also called "Construction of identities", consists of a biographical table (the person's past) and a traditional questionnaire which combines objective and subjective questions.

The topics covered include:

- family and professional situation;

- geographic and social origins;

- ethical commitments;

- cultural practices;

- state of health.

As well as the individual's family, residential and professional biography, questions focus on:

- stated affiliations and identifications in the areas of family, professional situation and work, leisure, health and relationship with the body, the ideological sphere;

- any negative experiences (including discrimination) and their effects on identity.

The survey also shows the level of membership to associations (alumni, unions of job seekers, retired people, senior citizens, humanitarian groups, leisure activities, etc.).

Champ de l'opération

Champ géographique :

Metropolitan France

Caractéristiques techniques

Unité statistique enquêtée :


Périodicité de l'opération :


Période et mode de collecte :

Face-to-face interviews were carried out by an INSEE researcher.

Data collection was between February and April 2003 using a computer-assisted collection method (Capi).

Historique :

The life story survey follows on from the Geographic mobility and social integration (MGIS) survey of 1992 by INSEE and Ined.

The MGIS showed that it was indeed possible to look at the question of social integration using the statistical survey method.

In 2000, a prototype questionnaire was drawn up for the life story survey in consultation with researchers from the various disciplines.

Three series of tests were carried out. In particular, there was a pilot survey in 2002 of 800 people. This was a pre-test, i.e. a reduced model of the future survey to see whether the survey was acceptable both to the investigators and those being investigated.

The results of this experiment were positive. Improvements were made to the survey tools and the Life story survey was carried out in 2003.

Plan de sondage :

The sample of individuals to be surveyed was determined by combining sub-samples drawn from four different sources, including the master sample from INSEE (based on the 1999 population census) and the new housing survey data base (BSLN).

Samples were taken from two surveys to ensure that they were fully representative of populations that were not sufficiently numerous in the general population for detailed analysis to be carried out: the Study of family history (EHF) survey and the Everyday life and health (VQS) survey.

Three populations are therefore over-represented in the sample:

- people under 60 whose daily lives are disrupted because of a health problem;

- immigrants;

- people born in France with one parent who was born abroad.

The survey sample included about 13,500 individuals who were representative of all the population aged 18 and over living in Metropolitan France.

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