Paris’ transit authority has new campaign asking local residents to be less rude

The transit authority in Paris has a new campaign aimed at getting users to show more etiquette:

Likening Parisians to animals, it shows a variety of them horrifying onlookers with their selfish behaviour.

A hen is shown screaming into a mobile phone while sitting on a packed bus, a buffalo shoves his way on to a commuter train, and other shameless beasts are shown annoying people…

Sociologist Julien Damon, who helped carry out the RATP survey, said: ‘These types of bad behaviour have always existed, but what has changed is that we are less prepared to tolerate them.

‘Our behaviour is more and more geared towards cleanliness and hygiene, like spitting on the ground or smoking in a restaurant now both very frowned upon, and less about common courtesies like simply being polite and nice to each other.’…

The study comes two years after a separate survey of foreigners visiting Paris voted them the rudest people in Europe...

Cecile Ernst, French author of the sociological and etiquette essay ‘Bonjour Madame, Merci Monsieur’ argues that the shockingly loutish behaviour of France’s football team during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, when the players went on strike, was a symptom of a broader social trend.

Two quick thoughts:

1. This seems to be motivated in part by perceptions of tourists. Since Paris is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, this is no small matter.

2. I wonder how successful this campaign will be as it utilizes shame and guilt. The posters shown here basically suggest that some current riders are acting like animals. Could a more positive campaign be more effective or would it not attract people’s attention effectively? Imagine if ads like these went up in a major US city…

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