The four priority lines of research have been collectively constructed from many different meetings and experiences on field sites that members of the unit have been surveying for years using various combinations of methodologies and disciplines. They are based on research that has been conducted within the laboratory for a long time, but are structured by more recent concerns and problems, having earned a central place within the unit in recent years. Designed to serve as spaces that unite researchers around focused dialogues, the lines of research offer a network of questions and issues that are autonomous but furnished with bridges that researchers—who will contribute to one or several lines—will have time to cross.
These lines were developed based on broad theoretical concerns, and will link two major problems: first, forms of action and experience, involving either people or groups, generally explored in relational spaces suffused with doubts, confrontations and uncertainties; second, time and temporality, whether it be a matter of considering the moment, the contemporary, the actualisation of the past or projection into the future. In other words, it will be a matter of considering multiple regimes of connection between forms of experience and temporalities.
This line unites research that considers real-life experience, action and ways of shaping interactions at the scale of inter-individual and infra-individual phenomena.
From the expression of emotions to states of the body, to the analysis of vocality and vocal alterations in rituals, to everyday events that reveal the presence of the dead, it will be a matter of questioning human communication and experience based on theoretical orientations inspired by phenomenology, interactionism, pragmatics and cognition.
Through these various components, this line observes the social in the link of the relationship between oneself and others, and in the interfacing of the individual and the group, in order to grasp their new characteristics.
This line brings together research projects conducted on field sites that more directly resonate with public debate, civil society, and the increased circulation of humans and ideas.
These projects, touching upon gender, kinship, religion, the environment, health and migration, will provide a chance to discuss the notion of “discordance” in contexts that are sometimes experienced as catastrophist and liable to provoke renewal. Unlike the notion of crisis for example, which refers to a critical but temporary situation, that of discordance covers various meanings that designate not only phases of agitation and destabilisation, as well as the disruptions behind disorganisations and the states of confusion they engender, but also opaque states—not necessarily intended to become transparent—due to the coexistence of elements considered non-homogeneous.
To what extent do the cases identified as discordant—or as having been so—really form one set, and how are these discordances experienced day-to-day by individuals and groups? To answer these questions, it will be a matter taking these situations as concrete subjects, approaching them empirically, while seeking to identify points of contact with other social, symbolic and ideological authorities that they confront and challenge, or that challenge them (powers, institutions, norms, values, beliefs).
It will therefore be a question of conceiving of discordances and discordance in order to conceive of the individual and the social, not only through normative injunctions and stable identities, but also—and sometimes especially—by examining interactions as well as the margins and intersections in spaces of friction, adjustment, uncertainty and creation.
Examining relations with the past and with its traces (material, digital or mnesic), this line takes more direct advantage of certain questions raised by projects developed in the context of the LabEx PP.
The first component takes note of a set of research practices concerning the history of our own discipline, based on the study of multiple archive documents and means of memory expression. Though ethnography is the main source of anthropologists’ knowledge, they also spend a lot of time studying documents, putting them together themselves, and roaming archive departments. Archives are an extension of the anthropologist’s field site in addition to being his or her second field site. But they have also become a major part of the restitution practices and new forms of memory formation used by the ethnographed groups themselves.
Bolstered by the reflexive detour into how we as anthropologists make time or make do with time, the second component of this line takes a new look at a now-traditional subject: the relationship of societies with their history, and that of individuals with their past, extending the study of phenomena of ritual creation, heritage creation, apprenticeship, identity construction and political construction, which, each in its own way, proceeds from the actualisation of memory and of the past through their placement in words, objects and bodies.
Finally, the third part goes deeper into the question of the transmission and reconstruction of traditions, by broaching it based on forms of memory selection and systems of forgetting, using approaches that combine ethnographic methods and cognitive protocols.
Between anticipations of the future and prophesies, promises of progress and heralded catastrophes, this line of research seeks to establish new perspectives on the human future and its ecology.
Also explored will be forecasting and techniques of anticipation; the redistribution of psychological abilities in the age of artificial intelligence; issues raised by the development of neurosciences; the development of new forms of sensibility emerging in a critical situation; and the way fields of possibility for collective action are being redefined. Furthermore, it is a matter of challenging new forms of inquiry, analysis, writing, restitution, and knowledge sharing, and newly reflecting on the critical role of anthropological thought in a constantly changing world.