illustration : Books


The Books heading gathers critical reviews of selected social-sciences books.

De la nécessité de ne pas s’ignorer. Vers une linguistique mésologique.

Chomsky, Noam. 2011. Sur la nature et le langage. Marseille : Agone.

Romaric Jannel | 14.04.2014

The high activity in contemporary linguistics is mainly the result of Noam Chomsky’s works. However, this thinker’s postulates are simple reductionisms, which deny the complex phenomenon that allowed the emergence and the evolution of language(s). To get a comprehensive understanding of linguistic phenomena and exclude any kind of determinism, one should analyse the coevolution human-milieu. This mesological approach of language, characteristic of what may be complex thinking, is an epistemological and ethical necessity. If determinism is considered as a [...]

L’Art et le passage du temps.

Zask, Joëlle. 2013. Outdoor art, la sculpture et ses lieux. Paris : La Découverte.

Hervé Regnauld | 07.04.2014

The exhibition of outdoor art works in public areas leads to two main consequences. On the one hand the site where the work is displayed gains a new importance, on the other hand the political body which decides on the exhibition gets celebrated. This results, most often, in a well-accepted but very trite and commonplace aesthetics. Joëlle Zask’s book undertakes a precise and convincing deconstruction of these practices and questions, in depth, the idea of public space. [...]

Figures et repentirs d’une anthropologie non participante : l’ayahuasca en Amazonie péruvienne.

Amselle, Jean-Loup. 2013. Psychotropiques. La fièvre de l’ayahuasca en amazonie péruvienne. Paris : Albin Michel.

François Warin | 31.03.2014

Jean-Loup Amselle is an atypical anthropologist known for his critical approach to his profession. More specifically, he has worked on the illusion — widespread in Western societies — that the future is to be dreaded and that we can only find solace in a mystical and idealized past. Psychotropiques. La fièvre de l’ayahuasca en forêt amazonienne (2013) focuses on the new players in the Peruvian Amazon region, who share the world market for such anxieties, giving the Western tourists’ [...]

Comprendre le retour de la planification territoriale en Europe.

Zepf, Marcus et Lauren Andres. 2011. Enjeux de la planification territoriale en Europe. Lausanne : Presses polytechniques et universitaires romandes.

Guy Baudelle | 17.03.2014

Spatial planning seemed to be out of fashion but this very stimulating overview, based on case studies that focus on various European countries, shows that the deep transformation of territorial planning has allowed its unexpected resurgence. The book intends to show that this dramatic change has been driven by the need for more flexibility and coherence. Foresight and spatial visioning illustrate some of the new instruments designed to face contemporary challenges. But the dissemination channels of these new practices [...]

Interroger l’infrastructure de représentation du monde.

Kurgan, Laura. 2013. Close up at a distance. Mapping, technology and politics. New York : Zone Books.

Jean-Christophe Plantin | 10.03.2014

With her book Close up at a distance. Mapping, technology and politics, Laura Kurgan, Professor of architecture at Columbia University in New York city, interrogates the political, technical and ethical debates around satellite imagery, GPS and Geographic Information Systems. The originality of Kurgan’s work comes from her theoretical articles, that use geography and sciences, technology and society resources, and the presentation of nine artistic projects that she has been working on for twenty years, using case studies of satellite [...]

Exploring tourist mobility in Paris. A combined visitor survey and GPS tracking study.

Maie Gérardot,Michael Bauder et Tim Freytag | 17.02.2014

This article presents a series of the findings from a combined visitor survey and GPS tracking study that was conducted in May and June 2013 in Paris. The mobility of the 129 participants in this study is characterized by a high degree of spatial concentration at several major tourist attractions. Moreover, the most important axes of tourism mobility in Paris are identified. [...]

La géohistoire de l’espace viticole français sur deux siècles (1808-2010) : plusieurs cycles viticoles décryptés.

François Legouy | 17.02.2014

Geohistory of the French wine area (1808-2010) highlights, for the whole of the French territory, two cycles of growth and decline of vineyards. We can observe a period of wine transition (“transition vitivinicole”) during the second cycle, which is in fact divided into two phases : the first one represents the decline of wine surfaces, especially those producing wines of regular consumption. The second phase consists in the mix of two trends : the confirmed decrease of areas producing [...]

Pour une ethnographie pragmatique du politique.

Berger, Mathieu, Daniel Cefaï et Carole Gayet-Viaud (dirs.). 2011. Du civil au politique. Ethnographies du vivre-ensemble. Bruxelles : Peter Lang, coll. « Action publique ».

Consuelo Biskupovic | 13.01.2014

This article analyzes the different ways of conducting ethnographic investigations that are proposed in the book Du civil au politique. Ethnographies du vivre-ensemble by Mathieu Berger, Daniel Cefaï and Carole Gayet-Viaud. Firstly, it examines the authors’ choices : the ethnographic method as well as the relationship between political and civil activities can be found in each article. Secondly, it discusses the commitments and central propositions of the book. It shows how the authors reconcile a pragmatic perspective with an [...]

S’engager en ethnographie. Une réflexion collective autour des pratiques de l’enquête.

Céfaï, Daniel (dir.). 2010. L’engagement ethnographique. Paris : Éditions de l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.

Virginie Tallio | 25.11.2013

This publication, directed by Daniel Céfaï, gathers different articles translated from English into French. Each one illustrates a facet of ethnographic investigation and is introduced by an article, written by a different author each time, that situates their historical and theoretical context and their significance within the current debates in the anglophone and francophone world. This book seeks to stress the importance of ethnography, a method that concerns all researchers in social sciences. It examines practices and debates that [...]

La linguistique dans la mondialisation, de la perte de diversité aux politiques linguistiques.

Nicholas Evans. 2012. Ces mots qui meurent. Les langues menacées et ce qu’elles ont à nous dire. Paris : La Découverte.

Frédéric Barbe | 22.10.2013

Science sociale rare et à fort ticket d’entrée, la linguistique dans son interaction avec les autres sciences sociales apporte beaucoup à la connaissance des sociétés — tant d’un point de vue théorique que pour la construction raisonnée de politiques linguistiques. Nicholas Evans, dans un livre riche et innovant, montre les grands pôles de choix linguistique, éloge ou désaveu de la diversité, mais aussi la réalité d’une perte sévère de cette diversité linguistique : la mort de nombreuses petites langues [...]