Discuter des « aires culturelles » grâce aux « airs de famille »: Réflexions sur les modes d'organisation de la recherche dans les sciences sociales

Translated title of the contribution: Discussing "area studies" through "family resemblances" -Reflections on the Organization of Research in the Social SciencesDiscussing "area studies" through "family resemblances" -Reflections on the Organization of Research in the Social Sciences

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Abstract

This article starts with a very simple question: How useful are "area studies" as a specific way of organizing research? To reflect on this problem, the article uses the metaphor of "family resemblances", proposed by Ludwig Wittgenstein, which is based on the ideas of intertwining and overlapping. It enables us to point out the fact that there are only partial resemblances between the investigations of the various researchers (which can relate to methodology, objects, themes, fieldwork, etc.). In this sense, organizing research consists in bringing together projects and investigations which, despite their irreducible singularity, share with others a certain "family air", but in no case a common essence. In this context, we will reflect on the relative value of "area studies" in relation to other classification systems that govern the division of labor in the social sciences, whether in the traditional mode of disciplines or, in the more recent one, specialized fields of studies.

Translated title of the contributionDiscussing "area studies" through "family resemblances" -Reflections on the Organization of Research in the Social SciencesDiscussing "area studies" through "family resemblances" -Reflections on the Organization of Research in the Social Sciences
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)455-477
Number of pages23
JournalRevue d'Anthropologie des Connaissances
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 7 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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