What more could anyone demand than economic growth? This question inevitably preoccupied a conference convened by the Société Française de Sociologie in October 1965 (and attended by such 'technocrats' as P. Massé, then head of the Plan) on the theme of the trends and aspirations of French society. 1 Answering it, the figures of French Sociology of the day, whilst agreeing on the dramatic arrival of 'modernity' and the uniqueness of the French experience of industrialisation, divided sharply into optimists and pessimists. Of the latter, Alain Touraine was the most distrustful of the prosperity.