A Semio-Communicational Analysis of Othering Social Plurality within the “Diversity’s Rhetoric” in the French Organizations’ Discourses

Bruneel, Emmanuelle.
This article aims to report on the way «diversity’s contemporary rhetoric» is considering the issue of social plurality and, doing so, reconfiguresthe ins and outs. Its recurrent uses in different sorts of public discourses (the one about «corporate social and environmental responsibility») allows us to examine «diversity» in terms of what that concept intends to focus on. Our analysis is a political one and is situated within the field of information and communication sciences insofar as it aims to approach the mediations of «diversity» as a social concept.Thus, our intention is to seize the contemporary social sayings about «diversity» and to characterize the concept within its discursive and visual existence. Conveyed by several institutional discourses via expressions such as «promote», «respect» or even «include diversity», this formulation seems ambiguous. It appears as a desire to gather the plurality of all «differences» and it aims to represent the plurality ofsociety while trying not to separate different members who compose it. It includes several themes which are, moreover, equivocal: it is used in heterogeneous contexts to talk about anti-discrimination, tolerance, parity, anti-homophobia, or anti-sexism, anti-racism, disability, secularism, etc. Nevertheless, all these evocations crystallize the idea of variety, plurality, dissimilarities, and non-identity between all. We willquestion discourses which aim to reflect an enchanted «diversity» as rhetorical content […]

Diversity and Super-Diversity in between Policy and Academia: a Critical Reading

Doytcheva, Milena.
Focusing at its starting point at the emergence of the concept of (super-) diversity in policy and academia, the article challenges the alleged theoretical and epistemic changes introduced by this new paradigm (Vertovec 2007) in the studies of race and ethnicity, pluralistic democracies, and even « multiculture » (Back 1994 ; Hall 1999). First we critically examine the main innovations claimed by the model, replacing them in a broader context of a posited « return of assimilation » (Brubaker 2001). Second we examine other sources of criticism, based for instance on empirical scrutiny and evidence from public policies analysis. We consider in conclusion the hypothesis of « whitening » (Bilge 2013) diversity and question thepossibility to invest the concept not normatively but critically, namely through athorough articulation to the principle of nondiscrimination

Subversive Paradigms of the Subject in Nan Goldin’s queer Photography: Human Plurality and Epistemological Revisions

Grué, Mélanie.
This article associates discourses on the subject, the sociology of photography and Nan Goldin’s work, and argues that the photographer questions gender paradigms leading to the definition of « abject » identities. As she reinvests the snapshot aesthetic and family photography, Goldin reveals the plurality of gender identities. Her photography documents the dismantling of the heterosexual couple and claims the social viability of homosexuals, transgender people and drag queens, thus rising to the status of subaltern knowledge and counter-discourse on humanity.

Plurality of Points of Views and knowing of a Plural Reality

Compagnone, Claude.
The purpose of this article is to report the way in which the plural understandings of reality are inherent to the process of knowledge production. It alsoaims to show what it means that actors’ point of view are socially and materially situated. Relying on J.-P. Darré’s approach, Putnam’s pragmatism, as well as on linguists’ and psychologists’ works, it highlights how the relationship between reality and knowledge may be understood. It underlines that truth depends on the adequacy of knowledge to reality and emphasizes the interactional features of things. Then, it focuses on the social nature of understanding and discusses the social characterization of points of view, drawing on A. Schütz’s works.

Thinking Relatively : Franz Boas and the Concept of « Type »

Joseph, Camille.
This article focuses on the concept of « type » in Franz Boas’ work. Based on a close examination of his main anthropometrical texts, it sheds light onthe way Boas used statistical methods in order to criticize the taxonomic approach of physical anthropology. Instead, he developed a perspective where relations between types are put forward and emphasized the importance of variability and correlation phenomena. By using the plural “types”, Boas was able to consider human plasticity as a scene for borrowing and intermixture.

For a Cosmopolitan Approach of Globalization

Cicchelli, Vincenzo ; Octobre, Sylvie.
Cosmopolitanism has a long and cyclic history. Often referred to as ‘neo cosmopolitanism», its use in the current context raises a number of difficulties, both conceptual and methodological. However, by rephrasing ancient philosophical frames in sociological terms, this perspective offers a new evaluation grid for specific globalization processes, that avoids mere economistic views, providing insights regarding changes in the political, ethical, cultural and aesthetical dimensions of the link to otherness in a global world. Taking part in the «cosmopolitan turn» – which supposes new concepts and methodological tools – we propose a theoretical frame based on three scales of analysis: the dynamics of cosmopolitan culture, the institutions ofcosmopolitan governance, the processes of cosmopolitan socialization.

Confronting the non-event: Reflections based on fieldwork in Algiers

Serres, Thomas.
This article studies the production and the reception of a "non-event" by drawing on the Algerian presidential elections of 2014. It argues that a non-event must be understood as the product of a publicization, of the expectations of the observers and actors who anticipate a revolutionary or catastrophic future, and of social and political routine activities that also contribute to its appearance. While the non-event is not a clear break, it can still be interrogated in order to reveal the social structures and imaginaries that lead to its production. In the meantime, a certain distance from the "non event" is necessary to grasp less spectacular phenomena that it tends to obscure

Epistemology of the exception

Ermakoff, Ivan.
Exceptional cases are at odds with the typical : they stand out as bizarre and rare. What then could justify their systematic analysis? Elaborating the analytical distinction between anomalies, exceptions and outliers, this paper outlines three potential epistemic contributions of exceptional cases. First, exceptional cases reveal the limits of standard classification categories. In so doing, they problematize usual classificatory grids. Their input is critical. Second, exceptional cases point to new classes of objects. They acquire paradigmatic status when they exemplify the characteristic features of these new classes with utmost clarity. Third, exceptional cases magnify relational patterns that in more mundane contexts lack visibility. Here their contribution is heuristic. These three contributions become possible when we put at bay normative expectations of what should happen, and specify cases by reference to an analytical space of constitutive dimensions. To underscore the general significance of these observations, I draw on examples borrowed from different quarters of the social sciences: the sociology of organizations, ethnomethodology, comparative historical sociology and the history of science

Music, religion, multiple belongings: an even approach

Salzbrunn, Monika.
The first part of this article deals with a critical review of the notion of event. Instead of predefining social groups, the author uses events as entry points to the field. She shows how multiple belongings in the Lake Geneva region are celebrated during religious events: music is a central mode of expression of diversity in a translocal context.. The research process starts with a focus on events and the analysis of actors who put on stage their multiple belonging. These festive events are situated in a political, geographic and social context.

« In sentinel in its own house ». Reflections on the terrorism as civil war - the case study of the French wars of religion (1562-1598).

Foa, Jérémie.
This paper offers to think about the problems faced by a society confronted with the presence - real or fantasized - of the « enemy within ». In this society, the identification of the other and the self-presentation do not only serve to protect the social honor but are matters of life and death. What are the skills mobilized for identifying the "suspects"? The wars of Religion (1562-1598) can help to think of a society confronted with sudden violence and, just like the terrorism, from the inside of the community.

The Institutions of Stupor. Review of Event Sociologies

Mitsushima, Nagisa.
“The institutions of stupor. Review of event sociologies”. This article argues that events, deemed to be defined through the scope of contingency and disruption, are actually tied to a strong institutional framework that greatly constrains what could be done and said during the event. A literature review shows that social sciences should take better account of historical and conventional dimensions of events. By putting forward proposals to study the infrastructure of events, the article’s goal is to specify a complementary analysis of the object "event", through the prism of historical sociology and sociology of institutions.

Village for social inclusion: a territorial event?

Roche, Elise.
The event is a regular topic of history and sociology. Crossing historic field and social geography, we suggest the concept of « territorial event ». This article examines how the spatial approach could improve the concept of event, exceeding the time or media analysis approach. This study is focused on two specific housing projects for Roma, named « Village for social inclusion » and both located in Saint-Denis (93). Roma people live specific social difficulties, because of their migratory status. Characteristics of « territorial event » are in number of three: (1) the new territorial structure bring out surprise and a lack of comprehension; (2) the event is established as “event” for specific actors and specific scale: it depends of the context and it allows to detect several territorial and historical structures; (3) the shortage in the structure of territory: it will be different before and after the territorial event.