Michael Naepels

La dérivation ethnographique. Mobilisation du savoir et production de connaissances en Nouvelle-Calédonie

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  • Abstract

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I would like to question an aspect of the production of ethnographic knowledge — i.e. a production of research materials through the direct relationship of the investigator with human beings by interactions in a given social situation. Such interactions are fragile, and silence more likely than interlocution, so one must wonder about the meaning of "transmission" to the fieldworker in order to qualify the "knowledge" conveyed. In this paper Idescribe the role that the mobilization of socio-historical knowledge plays in the social mobilizations that mark political life in the Houaïlou area, New Caledonia. As a matter of fact, the updating of links between families or individuals is frequently triggered by the mobilization of historical knowledge put into circulation for the formation of a collective actor. The question arises as to assess to what extent such a situation determines what is sometimes transmitted to the fieldworker — or to what extent the research material produced by the ethnographer on collective mobilizations is primarily a product of these mobilizations, rather than a product of his own desire to know.

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