Articles


Does Virtual Reality Make More Room for the Patient? A Look Back at an Experimental Therapeutic Research System

Sainsaulieu, Ivan ; Vega, Anne.
We follow from a socio-anthropological point of view the ins and outs of an experiment in neuroscience, showing a desire to increase the therapeutic effectiveness of a virtual reality device (VR) in the treatment of phobias. Patient participation, which is at the heart of therapeutic promise and the use of virtual reality technology, is partial and relatively unthinking. The actors prioritize research on the clinic and share the classic representation of the “good patient” (actionable, without social constraints, available), or even of a heroic patient, capable of an unusual endurance and adaptability. This representation goes hand in hand with the underestimation of the therapeutic tests inherent in the use of virtual reality and with the underestimation of the patient’s analytical capacities during the experiment itself.

The Struggle Against the Ebola Epidemics in Guinea, and the Hardships Related With Professional and Community-Based Identities

Somparé, Abdoulaye Wotem.
This article describes the interactions among different social actors involved in the fight against the Ebola epidemic in Guinea, focusing on their professional and community identities. It shows how the epidemic has contributed to create new identities, grouped into two different semantic fields: the “Ebola people” and the “communities”, but also new professional identities. In the theoretical framework of Olivier  de  Sardan’s socio-anthropology of development, the article tries to provide a better knowledge about the experts of the “Riposte,” belonging to different disciplinary fields and on their representations of local people.

City-Shackles and Nature-Freedom: Autism Challenged by Social Norms

Marchionni, Anna-Livia.
I met people with Asperger syndrome to explore their relationship to nature by collecting their testimony and conducting ethnographic surveys at the homes of two of them. From these testimonies and observations, I articulate my remarks around two central axes: if the importance of the sensoriality in their relationship with nature and environment is highlighted, a second axis emerges: that of stigmatization and experience of rejection, which would lead the people I met to turn to nature as a space freed from social norms.

The Plurality of Relationships with the Ecodistrict and Ecocitizenship: a Common Attachment to the Local and the Democratization of Ecology?

Berthelot, Karl.
This article is the result of empirical research focused on the socio‑spatial drivers of the greening of ways of life and the diffusion‑reappropriation of ecocitizenship. It is based on a dozen semi‑directive interviews and 93 interviews by survey with residents of ecodistricts in Ile‑de‑France (Clichy‑Batignolles, Bel  Air‑Grands  Pêchers and Chandon‑République). The analysis of ways of life reveals the plurality of relationships with the ecodistrict, a pleasant place to live but also a catalyst for daily inconveniences that hinder the integration of residents into their local environment. Feedback from the inhabitants shows that ecogests are widespread in all representations related to ecology. However, they testify to the richness of subjective relationships to ecocitizenship, oscillating between defence and opposition to the standards of sustainable development. These vernacular discourses are at the origin of a semantic and pragmatic reappropriation of ecocitizenship, which will thus be shaped according to life constraints and personal values, all variables likely to have an effective influence on environmental awareness and sensitivity. The research results reveal plural expectations regarding the democratization of ecology, fluctuant according to personal social (dis)positions. The recognition of these determinants, which also explains the phenomena of inertia‑strengthening of pro‑environmental behaviour, renews the framework related to ecocitizenship.  […]

Understanding the City through its Street Posters: The Meanings of Plural Urbanism in Yaounde

Ndam, Salifou ; Abega, Hyacinthe Jean.
In Yaounde, street posters carry hierarchical social dynamics and rivalries that characterize the struggle for the expression of rights to the city. As the city is divided into separate display areas, the street posters are then intended to reproduce the social hierarchies. At the same time, some posters fight against these logics through what are known as “counter-power” and “counter-space” strategies, synonymous of plural urbanism.

The Integration of Mozabites into the Host Territories. Organization and Solidarity of the Mozabite Community Outside the M’Zab: the Example of Bordj Bou Arreridj’s Jma’a

Gueliane, Nora.
Migration is a characteristic feature of Mozabites, a minority with strong identity values and a particular institutional organization. Wherever Mozabites settle, in Algeria or abroad, a traditional assembly is created [the jma’a] and real estate is acquired: community house, free school, mosque, cemetery, cultural centre, library, etc.—this at the scale of a city. At the country level, each region is managed by a Coordination [tansiqiyat] and the whole is headed by a Confederal Council located in Ghardaïa—the  ‘Ammi  Said  Council. This article therefore aims to explain this institutional organization and to elucidate the mechanisms adopted by Mozabites in order to facilitate their organization and integration in a migratory context. At the end of this paper, we will be able to highlight the mobilization of the group’s solidarity as a driving force in this integration process. For our demonstration, in addition to the documentary research, we used a field survey (qualitative). Open, semi-directive and group interviews were conducted, mainly with the mozabite community living in a medium-sized city in eastern Algeria, the city of Bordj Bou Arreridj, during the years 2015 and 2016.

The Resources of Ordinary Cosmopolitanism for Undocumented Exiles: a Study of Rohingyas’ Anchorage in Malaysia

Perrodin, Louise.
Since the 1990s, Rohingya have been seeking refuge in Malaysia. Once there, they do not hold any formal status as Malaysia does not recognize the status of refugees. Despite this non‑recognition, the imported category is omnipresent in the discourse of Rohingyas. This article shall analyze Rohingyas’ approach of this international status. It argues that cosmopolitanism, interiorized and routinized into an ordinary cosmopolitanism, constitutes a resource for the anchorage of undocumented exiles.

Ecologies of Integration: Palestinian Socio-Cultural Activism in Sweden

Christou, Fanny.
This article aims to critically analyse established integration models and look into how migrants/diasporas actively create practices of encounter, dialogue and mutual learning within host societies. This paper is based on fieldwork in a Swedish local space (Malmö) and explores the diversity of artistic activism of the Palestinians in Sweden in order to analyse its consequences on the concept of integration.

“Passing through” sociability or how encounters with moderate otherness allow intercultural sharing

Neveu, Pauline Marie.
Sociability is a central concept in sociology. Applying it to new ways of creating social bounds questions the mere definition of the concept, particularly in its relationship with otherness. We suggest using the “passing through” sociability in order to better understand the tensions between likeness and otherness at the core of social relationships between strangers. Specifically, this paper aims to illustrate moments of intercultural openness between members of a hospitality exchange network.

The Impact of the Monegasque National Preference System on the Construction of the Identity of the Population of the Principality of Monaco

Tourbeaux, Jérôme.
The Principality of Monaco has the particularity of having instituted a system of hierarchical national preference favoring Monegasques first, then individuals who share more or less close ties with the Principality, particularly in the fields of employment and housing. The objective of the principality is to maintain the national citizens in the territory given its attractiveness and the pressure on the cost of real estate that results. This article proposes to discuss this system of national preference which, from a conceptual point of view certainly influences the identity-building process of the different categories of individuals residing in Monaco, thus shaping the relations between the different groups present in the country.

Beyond the Veil. A Comparative Study between France and India

Lécuyer, Laurence.
The ghunghat is a veiling practice of North India. Its peculiarity holds in the fact that it is not linked to a religion. It reveals the social and family organisation in India, is tightly linked with marriage practices and mirrors the representations of the self and of the body. An anthropological analysis of this practice reveals its multiple dimensions, especially a social, aesthetic and sacred dimension. A comparative study between the way the veil is conceived both in India and in France will allow to rethink the veil beyond the religious and political dimensions in which it is crystalized in the French context.

The Public Debate on the Port of Religious Signs by the Representatives of The State in Québec (2007‑2018). Between Agreement and Disagreement

Gauthier, Gilles.
The article examines the evolution of the debate held in Quebec for more than ten years on the port of religious symbols by the representatives of the State by highlighting how it oscillated between agreement and disagreement. The analysis shows that the movements of the debate are determined by the introduction within it of infra‑debates on underlying questions which modify it outlines and, for lack of completely clarified beings, confuse it.

A Place and a Link. The Socialist Intellectual Space

Rioufreyt, Thibaut.
The production of political ideas goes beyond the organizational boundaries of the political parties and takes place through the mediation of collective actors ( foundations, clubs, think tanks, magazines, publishers, grandes écoles, research centers, universities,...) and individuals (political leaders, intellectuals, experts, translators, editors,...) coming from logics and heterogeneous social spaces. In this perspective, this article proposes to interrogate the topological concepts available to the social scientist (network, social world, field, epistemic community,...) to analyze these hybrid spaces by applying them to an empirical case : the socialiste intellectual space.

The Axial Age: New Thoughts on S. N. Eisenstadt’ Concept

Piettre, Renée Koch.
We discuss the relevance of the axial age concept of Eisenstadt in its application to Ancient Greece. According to Eisenstadt, Greece, despite its philosophers, had remained not idealistic enough to enter fully into the axial age. Recalling the diffusionist theory of A.  Hocart and Levi‑Strauss’ structuralism, we show that the Oriental influences, both in the Hellenistic era and since the Greeks adapted the Phoenician writing, have always been subordinated by the Greeks to their own traditions.

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.