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AMBIV ALENTS ENTRE SCIENCES SOCIALES EUROPENNES ET AMRICAINES


Universit de Lige (Belgique) les 16, 17 & 18 fvrier 2006
Projet ESSE (Espace des Sciences Sociales Europen)

RAPPORTS

Milano 2007

2007 Universit de Lige Projet ESSE (Espace des Sciences Sociales Europen).

per la presente edizione 2007 Arcipelago edizioni Via Carlo DAdda 21 20143 Milano info@arcipelagoedizioni.com www.arcipelagoedizioni.com

Prima edizione: dicembre 2007 ISBN 978-88-7695-369-9 Ristampe:


4 2009 3 2008 2 2007 1 0

vietata la riproduzione, anche parziale, con qualsiasi mezzo effettuata, compresa la fotocopia, anche ad uso interno o didattico, non autorizzata. Questo volume stato realizzato grazie al contributo dell'Universit di Liegi. Projet ESSE (Espace des Sciences Sociales Europen).

SOMMAIRE

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9-23 TOMKE LASK

ETHNOLOGIE
STEFANIA CAPONE Le dialogue transatlantique : Roger Bastide et la construction des tudes afro-brsiliennes. . . .25-68 SERGIO MICELI Les inventeurs Latino-Amricains de la sociologie scientifique (Florestan Fernandes et Gino Germani). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69-87 LYGIA SIGAUD Doxa et croyance chez les anthropologues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89-136 TOMKE LASK Imponderables of Academic Success: An Essay on Fredrik Barth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137-163 JOO PACHECO Curt Nimuendaju et la configuration de lethnologie au Brsil . . . . . . . . . . . . .165-197

ETHNOMTHODOLOGIE
BERNARD CONEIN Pourquoi lethnomthodologie est-elle attractive ? Le sociologue chez les autophages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .199-216 JEAN-LOUIS FABIANI Lethnomthodologie : une affaire de coproduction ? . . . . . . . .217-242 AARON CICOUREL A Personal Memoir. The Ambivalent Relationship Between Ethnomethodology, Conversation Analysis and Mainstream Sociology in North America. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .243-275 ROD WATSON The Manchester School of Ethnomethodology: The Move Towards a Wittgensteinian Sociology. . . . . . . . . . .277-318

RAPPORTS

AMBIV ALENTS

ENTRE SCIENCES SOCIALES EUROPENNES ET AMRICAINES

INTRODUCTION1
Tomke Lask
Laboratoire dAnthropologie de la Communication de lUniversit de Lige.
Pour un espace des sciences sociales europen est un projet soutenu par la Commission Europenne. Le but de ce rseau, en rassemblant une srie duniversits europennes et de chercheurs en sciences sociales, est dentamer dune faon systmatique lanalyse socioculturelle du champ des sciences sociales en Europe2 : sous des intituls semblables dans les diffrentes universits europennes, les contenus de ces disciplines, ainsi que leur gense en tant que discipline universitaire, sont fortement marques par les histoires nationales. Les frontires symboliques sont btonnes. La volont de lever les boucliers laide de la construction europenne et de ses politiques duniformisation formelle ne suffit pas. Les barrires tablies sont plus rsistantes que lon ne le pensait, car incorpores dans un habitus national. Il est donc important danalyser les conditions sous lesquelles la cration dun espace europen pour des sciences sociales europennes deviendra possible, si lon veut donner une identit europenne aux scientifiques dans cet espace. ESSE peut tre considr comme une premire tentative doffrir un espace de rflexion et de rencontre o de jeunes chercheurs et des scientifiques confirms peuvent commencer poser les bases pistmologiques dun travail de com1 Je remercie ici Yves Winkin, professeur lENS de Lyon, qui a pu apporter son aide lors de llaboration de la liste des invits concerns par lethnomthodologie. 2 Plus de dtails ici : http://www.espacesse.org/index.php

TOMKE LASK

paraison. Lun des thmes essentiels du rseau ESSE est la circulation des ides et des scientifiques : lanalyse de leur mobilit permet de reconstruire la trajectoire gographique et intellectuelle des ides, de comprendre leurs rappropriations, leurs transformations et leur rentre dans le champ scientifique. La diffusion des publications au gr de leurs traductions et les voyages scientifiques des intellectuels constituent la cl de comprhension de ce mouvement. Nanmoins, la seule appartenance la classe des scientifiques nentrane pas ncessairement linternationalisation des ides. Les contextes historiques et nationaux divergents qui ont influenc la cration des disciplines psent sur la coopration scientifique, malgr lvocation et laccord philosophique sur luniversalisme de la science. Par ailleurs et en gnral, les comptences linguistiques des scientifiques sont encore trop limites et limportance accorde lusage de leur langue maternelle comme symbole de leur appartenance nationale, trop importante pour quune volution libre dans un espace europen des sciences sociales puisse devenir un fait social avr. Le colloque ESSE, organis du 16 au 18 fvrier 2006 Lige par le Laboratoire dAnthropologie de la Communication, sinscrit dans cette rflexion et cible particulirement lanalyse des changes transatlantiques en matire de sciences sociales au 20e sicle. Intitul Rapports ambivalents entre sciences sociales europennes et amricaines, lobjectif que ce colloque a poursuivi, est de travailler une meilleure comprhension des allers-retours qui ont vu les sciences sociales europennes tre traduites, rappropries et rinterprtes aux Etats-Unis et en Amrique latine, avant dtre, quelquefois, rexportes vers lEurope. En mettant en parallle les circulations nord- et sud-amricaines, on se donne les moyens de saisir certains dsquilibres trop souvent passs sous silence. En effet, de nombreux auteurs et thories nord-amricaines sont imports en Europe, mais peu semblent faire le voyage de retour vers les
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INTRODUCTION

Etats-Unis. Il faut galement se demander pourquoi les changes entre lEurope et lAmrique latine semblent tre sens unique : alors que les sciences sociales latino-amricaines sont florissante, rares sont les auteurs dont la renomme et les travaux atteindrons lEurope. Il en va de mme pour les relations entre les Etats-Unis et lAmrique latine : celles-ci sont encore trs souvent sens unique. Dans ces trois cas, lanalyse cartographie les points dentre et de sortie des biens scientifiques afin de pouvoir identifier les gates keepers, tant dans le monde acadmique que dans celui de ldition et de la traduction. Elle indiquera des pistes de recherches approfondies qui devraient permettre de mieux dcrypter la domination vidente des Etats-Unis sur la scne intellectuelle internationale. Pour saisir concrtement ces dynamiques intercontinentales, le colloque sest concentr sur deux disciplines : lethnologie et lethnomthodologie. A premire vue, les cartes semblent clairement distribues : en ethnologie, lAmrique latine offre les terrains et les ethnographes ; tandis que lEurope apporte ses ides et ses ethnologues. En ce qui concerne lethnomthodologie, on serait tent de dire que lEurope fournit les philosophes et que lAmrique du Nord se les rapproprie. Le colloque se donnait pour objectif de mettre lpreuve ces a priori et de contribuer la construction du champ international de ces deux disciplines, partir dtudes de cas prcis tant sur les hommes et les uvres, que sur les traductions et les institutions dimport-export. Le premier bloc de contributions de ce livre se consacre lethnologie. Stefania Capone, directrice de recherche au CNRS et attache lUniversit de Paris X-Nanterre, tant spcialiste des cultes afro-amricains, cible avec son travail le dialogue transatlantique entre les africanistes brsiliens et Roger Bastide, le brsilianiste franais qui a vcu et travaill la fin des annes 1930 So Paulo. Cest un premier exemple qui dmystifie la priori voqu ci-dessus. Lchange entre Roger Bastide et des chercheurs brsiliens
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issus de diffrentes disciplines, mais unis par le sujet de leur recherche, la religion afro-brsilienne, tait fondamentale pour que Bastide pt dvelopper ses thories sur le principe de coupure et lopposition entre acculturation matrielle et acculturation formelle. Le Brsil ntait donc pas seulement un laboratoire o Bastide testait ses propres ides. Bien au contraire, cest par le dialogue avec les interprtations et les analyses dj labores au Brsil et par les collgues brsiliens quil avait tabli ses propres thories. De surcrot, Bastide intgrait le dbat international grce ses changes avec les collgues nord-amricains et cubain sur la thmatique du contact culturel. Sans aucun doute, la production acadmique de Bastide a marqu le champ des tudes des religions afro-brsiliennes au Brsil. Ce nest que cinquante ans plus tard quune nouvelle gnration, venue de lEurope, commence revoir ces thories et dans un processus de production scientifique semblable celui de Bastide, commence revoir ses thories. Stefania Capone en est une reprsentante. Elle est Italienne et travaille depuis les annes 1980 sur les religions afro-brsiliennes et a fait sa matrise en anthropologie sociale lUniversit Fdrale de Rio de Janeiro. Elle a emmen en France son savoir-faire scientifique mtiss avec la production latino amricaine qui son tour a t aliment et transform par le dialogue avec les penses et thories franaises. La deuxime contribution nous donne une ide sur la gense de la sociologie comme discipline universitaire au Brsil et en Argentine. Sergio Miceli, professeur ordinaire de sociologie lUniversit de So Paulo (Brsil), analyse limplantation de la sociologie comme discipline universitaire reconnue au Brsil et en Argentine. Deux personnes dnues de capitaux symbolique, conomique et social le Brsilien Florestan Fernandes et lArgentin Gino Germani, dorigine italienne institutionnalisent la sociologie grce leur habilit saisir le moment, quand leur collgues, mieux dots de capitaux social et conomique, avaient encore du
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INTRODUCTION

mpris pour la sociologie comme discipline capable dapporter une lgitimit sociale. Ils se sont confirms dans le champ des sciences sociales une poque ou les deux pays traversent dimportantes crises politiques, ( quand la sociologie avait laiss esprer quelle pouvait trouver des solutions ces questions ) face auxquelles lespoir est mis de voir la sociologie apporter quelques solutions concrtes. Linstitutionnalisation de la sociologie au Brsil et en Argentine est due en partie une attitude de mimtisme culturel assez rpandu dans des pays dcoloniss qui imitent volontiers les modles des pays mtropolitains pour se sentir intgrs dans la modernit. Cette dpendance culturelle a ouvert les portes la sociologie qui a en mme temps d se recrer comme discipline confronte avec les problmes spcifiques du contexte social local. Paralllement, cette relation internationale qui donnait de la lgitimit la sociologie argentine et brsilienne rendait possible lentre de la littrature et de la terminologie scientifique trangre dans ces pays. Le circulation des ides continuait donc tre aliment partie de lEurope. Grce llment colonial, la gense socio-historique de la sociologie brsilienne et argentine ne se base alors pas du tout sur les modles que lon trouve en Europe ou aux Etats Unis. Ceci pose certainement un problme en ce qui concerne la circulation des ides sociologiques et de leurs reprsentants sud-amricains dans le sens inverse de leur introduction, mais permet au moins de parcourir les chemins battus de la relation de dpendance en les respectant la ligne prte. Le prestige de les avoir parcourus peut et est toujours transform en capital symbolique dans le contexte latino amricain. Ensuite, Lygia Sigaud, Professeur danthropologie au Programa de Pos-Graduao em Antropologia Social au Museu Nacional de lUniversidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, analyse le processus de la construction de la doxa en anthropologie. En prenant comme exemple lEssai sur le Don de Marcel Mauss et le Journal de bord de Malinowski,
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elle analyse comment ces crits ont gagn leur minente place dans la pense anthropologique. Malgr la reconnaissance de Mauss, son texte sur le don ne fut pas directement consacr par une interprtation hgmonique. Celles-ci ne se produit quen 1949 travers lexgse que Lvi-Strauss lui consacre dans son ouvrage Les Structures Elmentaires de la Parent. Dornavant le thme de lchange de lEssai sur le don relgue aux oubliettes dautres pistes exploites par dautres auteurs pendant les annes 1930. La publication post mortem dun recueil des textes de Mauss, entrepris par Gurvitch qui invite Lvi-Strauss crire son introduction, va contribuer construire limage de Mauss, mais bien sr, reprsente aussi un capital symbolique pour Gurvitch et Lvi-Strauss. En ce que concerne le journal de bord de Malinowski, il trouve en Geertz son principal critique aux Etats Unis. Mais la critique ngative ou lloge dun texte produisent des effets similaires en terme de diffusion dans un cas comme dans lautre, le livre est ncessairement lu. En fait, Geertz participe activement au processus de distinction de lanthropologie amricaine de la Britannique en privilgiant la culture la Talcott Parsons, cest--dire aux dpens des relations sociales, qui, pour lanthropologie britannique constitue llment cl pour comprendre une culture. Cest ainsi que lanthropologie amricaine cre un mlange avec lethnographie et prne en mme temps une description dtailliste dexpriences motionnelles du terrain. Le Diary de Malinowski devient ainsi pour Geertz le mauvais exemple par excellence, car il prouve ses yeux que Malinowski tait insensible la sphre motionnelle de son terrain. Puisque cette attitude reprsente la base de lanthropologie interprtative que Geertz veut instituer, les mthodes de Malinowski selon lui sont carter. En critiquant le Diary de Malinowski, Geertz a employ en quelque sorte une stratgie semblable celle de LviStrauss, sauf quavec signe inverse : la place de lloge, il
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INTRODUCTION

choisit lattaque frontal tout en avanant une discussion objective sur la mthodologie. Le rsultat hgmonique est le mme : aux Etats Unis, lanthropologie interprtative de Geertz est devenue la doxa comme linterprtation de LviStrauss du don chez Mauss sest impose partout dans le monde. Dans le premier cas, la circulation dun texte a servi au scindement dune discipline sans vritablement nuire Malinowski ou son texte qui continue tre lu des deux cts de lAtlantique. Dans le deuxime, limposition dune interprtation a contribu consacrer mondialement un texte, son auteur et son interprte. A cette poque, Geertz ne pouvait pas imaginer quun reprsentant de lanthropologie sociale britannique qui avait peaufin et mme dpass lenseignement mthodologique malinowskien, puisse rebondir sur le principal pivot du fractionnement de lanthropologie (sans pour autant chercher la vengeance, ni une stratgie quiconque pour sauto-promouvoir, mais simplement par les rsultats de lapplication de ses propres thories concernant les mthodes de recherche). Mais de facto le travail que Fredrik Barth avait effectu au dbut des annes 1990 Bali avait clairement montr, sans explicitement mentionner ou critiquer Geertz, que la faon dont ce dernier avait men son travail de terrain ne pouvait tre quun dbut de rflexion et manquait en fait de rigueur mthodologique. La discussion entre la mthodologie peaufine de Malinowski et lanthropologie interprtative semble encore loin dtre termine, et la circulation des ides se trouve un nouveau tournant. Avec ceci nous sommes dj entrs en quelque sorte dans la prochaine contribution de ce livre, puisque Tomke Lask, directrice du Laboratoire danthropologie de la communication Universit de Lige a analys les contextes diffrentis qui ont men une acceptation immdiate des thories de Fredrik Barth au Brsil, mais, par contre, son introduction plutt mitige dans le champ acadmique franco-belge. Les questions abordes relatives lidentification des gate keepers dans ces deux
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contextes. Lask montre aussi comment lutilisation la carte de parties slectionnes de luvre de Barth avait induit des erreurs dinterprtation en ce qui concerne limportance de la production scientifique de Barth et la complexit de son travail. En ce sens, la traduction dune uvre ne savre pas ncessairement une aide, dautant plus quand elle ne situe pas lauteur et son travail en dehors du contexte auquel elle lintroduit. Les contextes macro-politiques sont ici mis en avant par Lask afin de comprendre les obstacles la diffusion galitaire de luvre Barthien. Le dernier texte dans la partie ethnologique est de Joo Pacheco de Oliveira, professeur danthropologie sociale au Programa de Pos-Graduao em Antropologia Social, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. La construction de lanthropologie comme discipline universitaire au Brsil a suivi un modle diffrent de lEurope et des Etats Unis. Dans un premier temps, lanthropologie est passe par les muses o se faisait la recherche jusquau annes 1940. Les muses taient trs impliqus dans la construction de limage de lEtat Nation3. Pendant que Malinowski faisait malgr lui son premier travail de recherche de terrain, au Brsil les premires expditions pour obtenir des matriaux pour les fonds des muses sorganisaient. Dans les annes 1930 jusqu la fin de la dcennie de 1940, Curt Nimuendaj, un autodidacte, va dominer la scne de la recherche au Brsil. Bien que dmuni de capital symbolique, celui-ci est reconnu internationalement et publie en Allemagne, en France et aux Etats Unis o Robert Lowie laide publier deux monographies dont une napparat que posthume. Nimenduaj tait extrmement bien insr dans le rseau international danthropologues de son poque et bnficiait lpoque dune reconnaissance et de lgitimit dans le champ acadmique. Les gnrations sui3

Voir Luiz Fernando Dias Duarte (2005:21-44).

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INTRODUCTION

vantes nieront cependant limportance de Nimenduaj pour la construction de lethnologie au Brsil en se rfrant sa condition dautodidacte. La tradition intellectuelle allemande dans laquelle Nimuendaj sinscrivait tait renverse en Allemagne par la gnration de Thurnwald et aux Etats Unis par Boas . Cette perte de capital symbolique tait un lment co-adjuvant pour dpossder Nimuendaj de ses mrites aprs sa mort. Les ethnologues brsiliens, emprisonns dans leur propre tradition de dpendance culturelle (telle que Miceli la voque dans son article), avaient suivi de nouveaux courants intellectuels en oubliant les connaissances acquises auparavant. selon Hobsbawm, Cest ainsi que des nouvelles traditions se construisent, mais dans le cas de la science, on se fragilise puisquil sagit du refus de laccumulation de savoir. Par ailleurs, comme Miceli et Lask le dmontrent, tous les coups sont permis dans la lutte symbolique pour se faire une place dans le champ acadmique brsilien. Dans le cas de Nimenduaj ctait encore plus ais, puisquil ne pouvait plus se dfendre dans une discussion scientifique. Cest ainsi que Florestan Fernandes pour saffilier la tradition europenne afin de fonder sa propre lgitimit au Brsil dvalorise la contribution de Nimuendaj qui se trouve tout dun coup considr comme un simple ethnographe. Finalement, grce leur trajectoire dsormais normalise, les gnrations suivantes de scientifiques croient avoir la lgitimit requise, pour disqualifier la production scientifique nationale antrieure. Elles obtiennent ainsi leur insertion dans une Ecole base sur un processus de gense diffrent, cest--dire, peu compatible avec le contexte national brsilien. Cette attitude que je qualifierais de colonise implique le refus du pass en prtendant quil nexiste que le prsent et le futur dans lethnologie brsilienne. Il en rsulte larrt abrupt de la circulation des ides que Nimuendaj avait initi au sens inverse du status quo du pouvoir symbolique. Lethnologie brsilienne sest transforme
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par la suite en une discipline principalement philosophique limage de lcole Lvi-Straussien ou de son successeur Descola. En conclusion, on peut dire que les stratgies et ambitions individuelles ont un impact incalculable sur la circulation des ides. Les alliances se font pour renforcer les positions personnelles de chacun dans le champ acadmique, et lesprit de coopration intellectuelle pour le progrs de luniversalit de la connaissance scientifique fait dfaut. Aussi arrive-t-on la conclusion que la prdestination des scientifiques pour linternationalisation reste quelque peu un mythe et quils sont leurs propres gate keepers. La deuxime partie du prsent ouvrage contient quatre contributions sur lethnomthodologie et sur sa trajectoire en Europe et aux Etats Unis. Les auteurs ici runis reprsentent eux-mmes parfaitement la situation quils dcrivent avec leur perception et leur vcu diffrentis de lvolution de cette discipline : les figures de proue, le manque dcoles reconnues comme telle, le sectarisme la place dcole, mais finalement aussi quelque part la reconnaissance dun mythe fondateur qui les unit malgr tout et dans toutes leurs divergences : la phnomnologie dAlfred Schtz. Cest ainsi que lon peut parler quand mme dune communaut de scientifiques caractre dfinitivement trs individualiste et personnalis. Lethnomthodologie semble avoir une force inhrente qui la pousse aux fractionnements, un peu limage que Luther se faisait de lglise : iglesia semper mutans. La deuxime partie dbute avec la vision peut-tre un peu pessimiste de Bernard Conein, professeur de sociologie lUniversit de Lille III. Celui-ci considre lethnomthodologie comme une discipline sans coles ni concepts de recherche. Ce qui fait le succs de lethnomthodologie, selon lui, sont les personnages, figures de proie, qui attirent des adeptes. Le rle doutsider de lethnomthodologie lintrieur de la sociologie cre une image forte de rebelle,
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INTRODUCTION

pourtant sans cause. Les innovations conceptuelles que lethnomthodologie avait introduites dans les annes 1970 en sociologie en ce que concerne lanalyse des interactions sociales, nont pas donn une image prcise cette discipline. Lune des raisons qui explique que celle-ci rester en marge est le manque dchanges avec la sociologie en gnral, mais aussi avec des disciplines avoisinantes qui sintressent aussi aux thmes traits par lethnomthodologie comme lindexicalit, la catgorisation, et la conversation. Les ethnomthodologues nacceptent pas un dbat sur les normes qui justifient le genre de connaissance que leur discipline produit. Tout effort de normalisation interne semble en vain. Conein arrive finalement la conclusion que lethnomthodologie est une attitude thique face au monde. Ceci explique peut-tre le succs de lethnomthodologie malgr sa faon dtre sectaire et peu visible dans le champ acadmique. La volont dappartenir une telle socit secrte produit toujours ses adeptes et partout dans le monde. De cette faon, la circulation de ses ides est en quelque sorte garantie. Lethnomthodologie devient pour ainsi dire cosmopolite grce aux contributions internationales sans pour autant se soumettre un esprit de discipline. Jean-Louis Fabiani, professeur lEHESS-Paris et chercheur invit lUniversit Humboldt Berlin, donne plus de prcisions sur les diffrents contextes dans lesquels lethnomthodologie sest dveloppe en France et aux Etats Unis.Lobjectif est de rendre compte des diffrentes rappropriations de cette discipline et de son processus de transformation. Cest, entre autres, la situation politique dans le monde avec la guerre froide qui intervient dans le processus de diffrentiation. Malgr les diffrences, Fabiani considre lethnomthodologie comme une co-production des diffrents apports des deux cts de lAtlantique. Ainsi Garfinkel a t inspir de la phnomnologie dAlfred Schtz qui avait migr aux Etats Unis. Cependant, Garfinkel a construit
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une nouvelle faon de faire de la sociologie partir de cette inspiration ce qui avait fond lethnomthodologie comme discipline part entire. Une fois cre, celle-ci na pu stablir en Europe que partiellement (et on ne peut pas vraiment parler dune circulation des ides dans ce cas). En France, lethnomthodologie na pas t reue avec le mme enthousiasme quen Grande-Bretagne par exemple. Et encore, comme Watson le montrera plus tard dans cette partie du livre, la distribution et le contenu de lethnomthodologie ne sera pas le mme Londres qu Manchester, par exemple. Tout comme Conein, Fabiani souligne limportance des trajectoires individuelles pour lessor de la discipline. Mais les diffrentes scissions de la discipline ne la renforcent gure en tant que telle, mais, bien au contraire, contribue un fractionnement sur les diffrents territoires nationaux. Aaron V. Cicourel, professeur au Departments of Cognitive Science and Sociology lUniversit de Californie, nous prsente une analyse pratiquement autobiographique de la naissance et de lvolution de lethnomthodologie ainsi que de lanalyse conversationnelle et de sa rception aux Etats Unis (dans les annes 1950 et 1960 respectivement). Cest la vision dun insider qui a ou d assister la scission de ces deux disciplines de la sociologie mainstream aux Etats Unis. Cicourel voit lhistoire de lethnomthodologie comme une histoire de rsistance et comme un processus trs lent dintroduction de nouvelles mthodes dans les sciences sociales. Son rcit met en perspective de faon trs personnelle la signification de lethnomthodologie pour les sciences sociales en gnral, avec lautorit dun participant actif dans ce champ. Les dtails de la pratique de lenseignement de lethnomthodologie montrent quel point cette discipline tait innovatrice, mais aussi combien elle tait drangeante dans sa faon dtre enseign et dans les exigences quelle imposait la personnalit des tudiants. Manque dune pdagogie explicite, ces pratiques ont peut-tre aussi contribu limage dune discipline excen 20

INTRODUCTION

trique laquelle une tiquette sectaire fut souvent attribue. Mme un critre objectif de lgitimit acadmique tel que lexistence dune section propre lAssociation des Sociologues Amricains, ne semble pas tre conclusif dans le cas de lethnomthodologie et de lanalyse conversationnelle A dfaut dune discussion ncessaire avec les autres sociologues, ce succs contribue davantage la propre ghettosation de ces deux disciplines. Le travail de Rod Watson, professeur au dpartement de sociologie lUniversit de Manchester, est complmentaire aux travaux antrieurs sur lethnomthodologie. Celui-ci offre une analyse de lvolution de cette discipline en Grand Bretagne et se penche sur les relations que le groupe dethnomthodologues Manchester entretient avec les Etats Unis. A linstar de Cicourel, Watson nous donne une description dense dun insider qui a activement vcu les vnements de la scission conceptuelle entre lethnomthodologie amricaine et anglaise partir des annes 1960 et 70 en Angleterre. Selon Watson, la raison qui a favoris faire grandir la version ethnomthodologique de Manchester en dpit de celle au Goldsmith College Londres, cest qu Manchester lethnomthodologie telle que propos par Garfinkel aux Etats Unis, est passe par une rappropriation qui a pris dabord ses distances par rapport la phnomnologie et puis a adopt plutt la philosophie Wittgensteinienne. Gluckman avait introduit au dpartement danthropologie sociale et de sociologie de lUniversit de Manchester lide de faire la recherche anthropologique domicile, cest--dire en prenant la socit britannique comme objet de la recherche, (un peu limage de ce qui sest fait luniversit de Chicago). Dautres anthropologues amricains, professeurs visitant au dpartement danthropologie sociale et de sociologie lUniversit de Manchester, comme Howard Becker et particulirement Erving Goffman, vont aller la rencontre de cette ide et introduire les crits de
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Garfinkel et de Sacks. Plus tard, le groupe dethnomthodologues qui sest constitu Manchester commence circuler dans le rseau nord-amricain et va recevoir et faire circuler entre eux des articles pas ou pas encore publis des ethnomthodologues amricains. Le systme mis en place pour favoriser la visite de professeurs (trangers) lUniversit de Manchester est certainement une cl pour comprendre les changes et les influences nord-amricains dans le dpartement danthropologie et sociologie o lethnomthodologie stait install. En 1974 cependant, aprs la sparation de lanthropologie et de sociologie, lethnomthodologie s sest vue expulse du dpartement de sociologie lUniversit de Manchester, ce qui poussa les ethnomthodologistes se regrouper progressivement lUniversit Metropolitaine de Manchester. Nanmoins un centre dethnomthodologie a vu le jour Manchester qui dispose aujourdhui dun rseau mondial et qui est trs actif dans ldition et promotion de confrences sur la thmatique. Jespre que les travaux et les analyses dans ce livre donneront des ides pour tablir un agenda de recherche dans le futur. Il semble clair que la coopration internationale en Europe ou mondial, ainsi que la circulation des ides est encore trop sous le joug des stratgies individuelles. La circulation est encore trop souvent le fruit dinitiative strictement personnelle, et le chercheur mobile ne conscientise que rarement les consquences que sa prsence et celle de ses thories peuvent avoir sur un autre contexte intellectuelle. De surcrot, les conditions dchange avec les collgues locaux ne sont pas garanties cause de la ghettosation intellectuelle et des comptences linguistiques fragiles. A nen pas douter, il y a encore beaucoup de travail abattre pour quun vritable espace des sciences sociales europennes puisse se distinguer. TOMKE LASK Lige en juin 2007
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Bibliographie

LUIZ FERNANDO DIAS DUARTE 2005 La nature nationale : entre luniversalisme scientifique et la particularit symbolique des nations in Museums Collections Interpretations Rethinking the contruction of meanings and identites, Civilisations, Tomke Lask (ed), Bruxelles, Vol. LII, n2, p.21-44. HOBSBAWM, ERIK 1983 The Invention of Tradition, E. Hobsbawm et Terence Ranger (co-eds.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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OF ACADEMIC SUCCESS:

AN ESSAY ON

FREDRIK BARTH1

Tomke Lask
Laboratory of Anthropology of Communication University of Liege

Circumstances had it that, in the 1980s, I did my undergraduate and part of my graduate studies in social anthropology in Brazil. Among the M.A. courses I took at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, one was about ethnic groups and nations. One of the fundamental papers to read for these classes was the introduction by Fredrik Barth to a collective work entitled Ethnic groups and boundaries, which was first published in 1969. At the time of its publication, this work had turned upside down the study of ethnic groups by its new interactionist approach to something that had been thought of until then to be rather tangible: ethnic boundaries. By the time I studied anthropology in Brazil, Fredrik Barths work was already well known and was being applied largely by Brazilian social anthropologists who had been dealing with questions of how to define Indigenous identities and territories inside the Brazilian nation since the 1960s. Barths interactionist approach opened up new ways of analysing interethnic contacts and indicated innovative ways of defining who could or could not be
I am very grateful to Mrcia R. R. Batista and Maria Barroso Hoffmann, two Brazilian colleagues well acquainted with the field of indigenous research and its subsequent theoretical discussions in Brazil, for their comments and questions on the first draft of this paper. 1

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considered Indigenous. An officially legitimised scientific definition of Indigenous identity at the core of the governments Indigenous policy would have brought about a substantial change in the current assimilation policy that sometimes seemed to focus extermination. An objective definition with its subsequent applied procedures could have had a considerable impact on the demarcation of Indigenous territories. However, the interests taken seriously by the Brazilian state belonged to its own economic aspirations and the military preoccupation of securing a national territory. One must remember here that the location of Indigenous areas and that of mineral resources are mostly identical and, in economic terms, much is at stake for the Brazilian state, if it officially attributes these territories to Indigenous peoples. On the other hand, fixing Indigenous people under tuition status in reservations in border areas of the Brazilian national territory also provides the possibility of establishing a permanent bureaucracy, meaning a legitimised presence of the state on the edge of its territory (Lima 1990). Thus it come to me as a surprise that when, some years later, I began my Ph.D. in Belgium at the University of Liege studying the social construction of the national borders between France and Germany, Fredrik Barth was known only to a happy few, or so it certainly seemed to me. A little anecdote can perfectly illustrate this impression. In 1995, I edited together with Yves Winkin a special volume of the Sorbonne Review Quaderni on borders and boundaries (Winkin/Lask 1995). During the first brainstorming exercise about whom we should or could contact to write an article about the subject, I suggested Fredrik Barth, who seemed a natural choice for me. But as soon as I pronounced his name someone from the board interrupted me sharply: It is not Frdrique, but Roland. I answered very calmly: Well, Roland has been buried for quite some time now and is therefore unable to contribute to
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our subject. Maybe because I am German and, following established stereotypes, the French colleague had presumed that I would not know Roland Barthes, a social and literary critic who had studied popular cultural phenomena and had held the first chair of semiology at the Collge de France. This assumption, however, would really underestimate the value and international recognition of Barthess work as well as my own acquaintance with the academic field in France. Until today, it still remains somewhat mysterious to me how Roland Barthes had been suggested anyway as a contributor to a special volume about borders and boundaries. But in fact, Fredrik Barth had been an illustrious unknown for my French colleagues. Undoubtedly due to the cleavages between the Francophone and Anglophone academic worlds, the passage of academic production from one to the other is not simple, particularly in the form of circulation from the Anglophone to the Francophone world. I mention only one other eminent example here: Erving Goffman2. This North-American scholar, received quite late in his career acknowledgment in France and Belgium, and this with the help of one of his last disciples, Yves Winkin, and last but not least Pierre Bourdieu, who made possible the translation and publication of several of Goffmans books. Yves Winkin therefore constructed his own academic career in Belgium as the scientific vector for Goffmans theories and introduced as an academic discipline the anthropology of communication as it had been created at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Philadelphia. Winkin had completed his M.A at that university and Goffman and
2 The eminent scholars of the so-called Chicago School are also good examples to illustrate the late arrival of the translation of their work into French.

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several other scholars, like Dell Hymes and Birdwhistle, had taught there.3 One can say, using a phrase Goffman himself wrote in his introduction to Interaction Ritual: Essays on Face to Face Behavior (1967), that the moment had found in Winkin and Bourdieu its means of introducing Goffman to the French and Belgian public. It is in this sense that I would like to analyse the differentiated success of Fredrik Barths academic production in Brazil and in France and Belgium, and thus to find out more about the patterns that underlie the circulation of knowledge between different countries and intellectual contexts. But first of all, we have to answer the question:

Who is Fredrik Barth?


The Norwegian anthropologist Fredrik Barth was born in 1928. His father was a professor of geology and biochemistry and, whenever possible, he took his son on cartography expeditions. Thus Fredrik Barth learnt early on about the importance of the physical environment for socio-ecological interpretation, a key-element for his later anthropological work. Barth began his studies in palaeontology at the University of Chicago in 1946. But, as his main interest was in human evolution, he finally joined the Department of Anthropology, preferring the living to fossils. The three years in which he studied in Chicago marked him deeply. There were many students there that were war veterans. They came very often from a poor background and were quite aware of the opportunity they had received through the Government Issue to take up their university
See Winkins book: 1981, La Nouvelle Communication, Paris, Editions du Seuil. 3

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studies and to construct their future. The beginning of Barths friendship with Erving Goffman, who was preparing his M.A. in sociology at the same time at the University of Chicago, also dates from this period and lasted until Erving Goffmans death. This friendship might have stimulated Barths interactionist view, which he developed later in order to understand the construction of ethnic boundaries. Barth never took as a mentor any of the outstanding figures he met in Chicago, or any later on. Raymond Firths publications as well as British social anthropology in general, inspired Barth because of the great emphasis on fieldwork. This made him finally continue his studies for one year in London at the London School of Economics. Once there, Barth became far more impressed by Edmund Leachs intellectual capacity and originality than by Firth. Leach was at the beginning of his career and not yet well known. Barth decided to follow Leach to Cambridge to do his Ph.D. Nevertheless, Barth insists that ultimately his own field experience had a greater effect on his intellectual training than any other professor he studied with. His approach is based on, first, living in a place and feeling its reality and second, trying to understand it through research and finding out which kind of theories might be fit for its interpretation. Barth never decides a priori to use a specific theory to be applied to the place he is to study. This would mean, in his sense, to put the cart before the horse and turn oneself into the representative of an ism-suffix of some kind (Lask 2000b:203). So the ultimate aim of anthropological research is to understand better another cultural context and not just to test out theories. Barth is well aware that one cannot pretend never to have read anything when going into the field, but he refuses to decide beforehand what would be the best of the theories to use in beginning to analyse a new field. This enables him to keep his mind free from any kind of filter to the perception of reality.
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One of Barths characteristics is never to take anything for granted and to question constantly the concepts and notions that seem already definitely established. He did this, for example, with ethnic boundaries. The perception of discrete ethnic groups that come under pressure through interethnic contacts was proven wrong by Barths intense field studies of the Pathan in Afghanistan and by later fieldwork throughout his life. Quite the opposite is correct: interethnic contact and ethnic interdependence turn out to be essential for the maintenance of distinctive cultures and of ethnicity. But what makes Fredrik Barths work on ethnic groups and boundaries interesting is, not only the new interactive approach as a basis for the construction of different identities, but, in particular, the weight given to ethnographic fieldwork in the understanding of native categories. Barth develops a very complex method of comparative social analysis, which starts from concrete social values as they become visible through social behaviour or interaction and not as described by discourse before the method can be finally taken to a more abstract sociological comparison (Barth 2000:187-200). Barth became even more meticulous than Leach had been concerning the use of native categories. He does not convert readily the native terms into scientific ones, but keeps the definition as explained by the natives. Also he favours multi-local fieldwork in order to understand better the complexity of a society, the variations of its culture and the different contents implicitly attached to the same expressions before proceeding to sociological abstractions. By contrast, Leach translated native categories rapidly into scientific ones in order to facilitate comparison. But this was at the risk of altering the native signification and the cleaning up of cultural variations inside the same society for the sake of abstract comparisons. This can lead later to misunderstandings, when other people study the same places at different times using different methods. This
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happened to Leach, who was confronted eight years after the publication of his monography on Pul Eliya, Sri Lanka (1961), with a completely divergent interpretation of the link between kin categories and property in Sri Lanka by Marguerite S. Robinson. Geertz went through a similar experience after the publication of Fredrik Barths book about Bali (1993). Whereas Geertz universalises based on one community study in Bali, Barth studied different communities with different religious composition in Bali. Barth entitles his book, Balinese Worlds, and the choice of the plural indicates implicitly his vision of cultural analysis. It must be said, however, that by no means did Barth invalidate Geertzs results; rather he makes his methodological point by reaching different conclusions through multi-located field research. Barth is not at all surprised by the existence of differences inside one society and cultural system. He is more interested in understanding how the existence of differences can be treated as a scientific fact and thereby in making them useful for the analysis of complex societies (Barth 1989). The physical environment has a great impact on developing cultural variations, as complex poly-ethnic societies show. For Barth, ethnography is the only way to understand reality, which should not be sterilised by the subtraction of imperfections (meaning cultural diversity that might not be obvious to explain), and the transformation of the society into an ideal abstraction for the sake of science. It is clear that one can only understand a complex society if one also takes into account that cultural variations are part of a never-ending process. A diachronic analysis is therefore necessary. In sum, to reduce Barth to a specialist in ethnic boundaries is far too narrow a vision of the importance of his work. His main interest in ethnographic methodology emerged from his initial fieldwork in Sudan and Afghanistan, where he first noticed that a circumscribed
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definition of ethnic boundaries could not find a corresponding social practice. This was the beginning of a very profound study on improving methods and methodologies, which largely transcend the initial subject of his studies. Ultimately, a very complex theory was developed regarding how ethnography as a method can contribute to a better understanding of our reality.

Barth encounters Brazil


How was it that Barth was so readily accepted in Brazil? One reason is undoubtedly the political context of Indigenous policies at the time he published his first studies. Since colonial times, Brazil has had to deal with the presence of Indigenous peoples in its territory. Various approaches have been taken towards Indigenous people at different historical moments and contexts, shifting over time. First, there was a civilising mission (which meant in colonial times converting the Indigenous people into Christians, a condition for the country to be considered at all by the Portuguese authorities as a real partner). Later the Indigenous people were considered as a pool of workers and eventually as potential citizens, who should be assimilated. Recently, they have been viewed as politically incapacitated human beings under state tuition (Lima 1995:70ff). From the beginning of the 20th century, a growing institutionalisation of the relationship between the Indigenous people and the state can be noted with the intention to establish state control over these people and their territories. The carceral continuum, as Foucault calls the systematic state supervision of all sectors of life (1977), finally led to the creation of successive state agencies charged with dealing with Indigenous questions:
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1910 Servio de Proteo aos Indios e Localizao de Trabalhadores Nacionais 4 (SPILTN) (Lima 1995:113ff); 1918 Servio de Proteo aos Indios 5 (SPI) (Lima 1995:11f); 1967 Fundao Nacional do ndio 6 (FUNAI) (Lima 1995:20).

But the interests of the state came under growing pressure at the end of the 1960s. Anthropologists, as well as the church with its lay organisation Operao Anchieta (OPAN), founded in 1969 and later transformed into the Operao Amaznia Nativa, and its missionary organisation Conselho Indigenista Missionrio (CIMI), founded in 1972 (Lima/Barroso-Hoffmann 2002:11), and last but not least international organisations such as OXFAM (Athias 2002:49ff) and Survival International were following up attentively the attitude of the Brazilian dictatorship towards the Indigenous populations. Human rights were officially on the international political agenda and the intention of the Brazilian government to build roads through Indigenous territories and to give concessions to agro-industry concerning Indigenous areas gained no approval. The FUNAI, controlled by government agencies for reasons of national security, did not, in the end, come up with a more appropriate policy than the SPI before them. Rather the contrary: instead of protection, the policy exposed Indigenous populations to uncontrolled access to their still undefined territories. Pressure on the international financial agencies, such as the World Bank, finally obliged the military government to make compromises or see financial support cut (Lima/Barroso-Hoffmann 2002:9ff).
Protection Service for Indians and Localisation of National Workers 5 Protection Service for Indians 6 National Indigenous Foundation 4

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Another impetus at the end of the 1960s and 1970s was a decisive change in university studies in anthropology. The American Ford Foundation as well as three Brazilian state agencies (Coordenao de Aperfeioamento de Pessoal de Nvel Superior (CAPES), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientfico e Tecnolgico (CNPq) and the Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FINEP) financed the creation of post-graduate studies and supported field research in social sciences (Ibid.:10). The Latin American anthropologists and indigenistas 7 began to represent a certain power in the field of Indigenous policies. A first decisive step was a meeting in Barbados in 1970 to analyse the situation of the Indigenous populations in Latin America. The Declaration of Barbados I makes it clear that there is no support from anthropologists for any kind of integrationist policy as fostered by Latin American governments. The results of this kind of policy were seen as thoroughly negative and, at times, were similar to the effects genocide. The discussions at this meeting and at other subsequent meetings became widely disseminated to Indigenous organisations, allowing these populations to be, even though still indirectly, part of the negotiations concerning their own fate (Athias 2002:54f). In this context, Barths interactive theory for the establishment of ethnic boundaries is highly useful. The original vision of ethnic groups as isolated groups of politically incapable people that should be kept as such and administered through government tuition, was gradually replaced. The new vision of Indigenous people is one where they can deal with their own problems once they gain some capacity building and learn how to organise themselves in order to negotiate with public authorities and private nonIndigenous interests and this without losing their cultural
7 These are people that work with indigenous populations for the state agencies, but they do not necessarily have any formal training in anthropology.

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specificity. From 1968 onwards, OXFAM supported development projects for Indigenous people in Brazil. Throughout more than 20 years, half of the time under a fierce dictatorship, OXFAM, together with other international non-governmental organisations, helped these populations to define their own agenda, to organise themselves into assemblies and thus to become recognised agents in the field of Indigenous policies (Ibid.:61ff). Anthropologists got the opportunity to take part in the so-called community development projects that the FUNAI began to promote in the mid 1970s. The cooperation with universities and recognised social scientists was a kind of marketing tool to improve the image of the government agency identified as being favourable to the genocide of Indigenous populations. In the end, the measures taken did not bring the desired result, because civil servants in the outposts and in the regional representations of the FUNAI boycotted these projects whenever possible. However, at least it gave anthropologists the possibility of gaining experience in their area of study and this experience made them aware of their political role in Brazilian society (Almeida 2001:55ff). Being a politically responsible scientist is also one of Barths objectives. He is very much in favour of anthropologists bringing their knowledge to a broader public and taking on their civic responsibilities, if necessary. This attitude undoubtedly comes from the national Norwegian context, where political representatives are very close to their voters and the voters are not afraid to check with their elected politicians, to see if they do what they have promised (Lask 2000b:221). Social control is very strong and the fear of losing this proximity in political matters was one of the main reasons that kept Norwegians from joining the European Union. Concerning the political attitude of social scientists, Brazil has some parallels with Norway, even if the socio-economic and historic reasons for this are not the
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same. The political awareness and social duty, which Brazilian social scientists have developed towards their society, is based on the poor political representation of the lower social classes and ethnic minorities, the subjects for their research in their own society. Brazilian social scientists therefore feel entitled to speak in public on behalf of these underrepresented and badly integrated members of their own society (Peirano 1991:99f). Social scientists personify the role of citizen and scientist and they can therefore act as both producer of scientific theory and reformer at the same time. This would be impossible for a French anthropologist whose research subjects are localised outside of French society and whose objective, as defined by Mauss, is to gain universality through exposure to cultural differences (Dumont 1978:97-99). However, due to the universality of science, as adopted by revolutionary France, its citizenship also potentially allows French anthropologists to incorporate the role of a reformer, but this role has been taken up to a greater extent by sociologists. One thinks at once of Durkheim, who created the sociologist as the doctor of the society, but also of Bourdieu who took up this challenge.8 As Peirano puts it, Brazilian anthropologists struggle with two loyalties at the same time: being both a citizen and a member of the intellectual elite of their society, when, at the same time, that society is the subject of their research. As scientists belonging to an international category, which however carries a Third World stigma, this dual loyalty places them socially below anthropologists from the so-called developed countries (Peirano 1991:100).
8 In fact some years ago, I co-organised a seminar at the University of Liege on Bourdieus book Mditations pascalienne (1997) (which, incidentally, was published in English three years later). I told Bourdieu at this event that his way of practising sociology reminded me much of the role Durkheim had conceived for the sociologist. Bourdieu confirmed that he recognised himself in this role.

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In any case, Brazilian anthropologists are quite well represented on the political stage and they try to take their role as citizens seriously. This also includes the acceptance of consultancies for national or international agencies or NGOs concerning development projects in Indigenous areas on the grounds that nobody is more qualified than the anthropologist who knows the area and the local people through his/her research.9 Barths political posture finds therefore a fertile ground in Brazil as a kind of external legitimisation for a local option. Barths theory on ethnic borders and their maintenance came therefore at a crucial time in the Brazilian context. The idea that ethnic groups can absorb as much as they choose from other cultures without losing their own independent cultural character, as Barth proposes, became a tool and a scientific means for the Brazilian anthropologists in their political fight to establish standards for the definition of what Indigenous people are. From the second half of the 1980s onwards, anthropologists such as Joo Pacheco de Oliveira Filho and Antonio Carlos de Souza Lima trained a new generation through the courses they administered in the M.A. and Ph.D. classes at the Post-Graduate Program in Social Anthropology (PPGAS) at the National Museum and through their research programme Projeto Estudo sobre Terras Indgenas no Brasil (PETI, Research Project on Indigenous Territories in Brazil). These efforts implemented a scientific approach in a particular way with regard to the definition of Indigenousness through fieldwork and the thesis produced by the researchers of this programme represented the first legitimised evidence, which the state agency could not ignore.10
An impressive overview regarding the demand for anthropologists and the field for applied anthropology in Brazil is given by Wilson Trajano Filho and Gustavo Lins Ribeiro (2004). 10 One must admit, however, that not all Brazilian anthropologists 9

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One of the main reasons that Barth found such a smooth entry into the field of Brazilian anthropology undoubtedly lies in the way that Brazilian anthropology was established and how this tradition was then perpetrated through a specific teaching style. In Brazilian anthropology, many influences are present due to the different founders within and from outside Brazil. With regard to European influences, the University of So Paulo was founded in 1935 with the help of a French cultural mission. Two notorious French historians, Lucien Febvre and Fernand Braudel, together with Lvi-Strauss, participated in this mission as the first French ethnologists. In 1937 they were joined by Roger Bastide. The French connection would later find another vector in Bourdieu. But also German ethnologists such as Theodor Koch-Grnberg, Herbert Baldus and Curt Unkel, better known as Curt Nimuendaj, were very important in the development of anthropology in Brazil. However, American influences were as significant as the European ones, as already mentioned above through the implementation of post-graduate studies associated with fieldwork by the Ford Foundation and Brazilian research agencies. Brazilian scholars grew therefore to the scientific habitus of openness to keeping themselves informed, to integrating and to transforming anthropological theory from other parts of the world. This, together with the training of many of the first generation of scholars abroad until the establishment of high quality M.A. and Ph.D. courses in Brazil, brought as a permanent pattern the introduction of foreign authors into
involved in the study of Indigenous people in Brazil adopted Barths interactive and politicised vision of Indigenous groups, even if his definition of an ethnic group became legitimate. Ethnologists, influenced by a Lvi-Straussian approach, like Cunha (1983 & 1986) or Viveiros de Castro (1986), insist in studying ethnic groups based on a materially visible ethnicity and religious Weltanschauung using Barth in a rather selective way. Others like Roberto Cardoso de Oliveira (1967) enter the scientific discussion with their own theories on inter-ethnic relationship.

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Brazilian undergraduate and graduate studies in addition to the national intellectual production. University studies are usually more accessible to well-educated middle class students. In a Third World country, where everybody feels the urge to learn metropolitan languages such as English and French, the language problem for teaching that one might find, particularly in Belgium and France, does not exist. I cannot recall any reaction by my fellow students during my undergraduate studies in Rio to the fact that the reference list of our courses contained entire books in English or French. In my third year of under-graduate studies I even had to prepare a seminar on Gregory Batesons Naven, based only on the English version, because a Portuguese translation did not exist. The admission exam for the M.A. at the National Museum during my time as a student included a quite severe language exam in English. We had to translate Malinowski into Portuguese. Later a French examination in the same style was also included. So the introduction of recent anthropological literature into the teaching programmes did and does not represent any major problem in Brazil. Keeping up with the international evolution of scientific discussion in Brazil is therefore easier than it is, in fact, in Belgium or France. This intellectual exchange is of course quite different from what Lvi-Strauss had described concerning his students at the University of So Paulo during his experience in the mid1930s. Then, the students tried to display their global integration by brandishing the latest publications of sometimes debatable value, which were mostly unknown to Lvi-Strauss and his colleagues (Lvi-Strauss 1978:96). Analysing, for example, the post-graduate programmes in social anthropology that Luiz de Castro Faria11 ad11 By coincidence, Castro Faria was the only Brazilian anthropologist who had accompanied Lvi-Strauss during his expedition to the Serra do Norte and Farias diary, finally published in 2001, gives a rather contrastive view of his fellow travellers Tristes Tropiques (1955).

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ministered throughout his long career at the PPGAS at the National Museum, one can find Barths introduction to Ethnic Groups and Boundaries appearing as early as 1972 (Faria 2006:87) and again in 1973 (ibid.:92) as a reference for courses entitled, respectively, as Interethnic systems and Indigenism in Latin America. Castro Faria is certainly no exception in his attitude to using relevant international publications in his courses and the presence of Barths paper can therefore be taken as proof of general practice in Brazil. Summing up, Barths work arrived at the very best moment in Brazil, because his work fitted the political context. His re-appropriation for local matters was therefore easy and consequential. Barths Anglo-Saxon empirical approach and his political engagement offered valuable tools and inspiration to Brazilian anthropology.

Barth and the Francophone European context


At the beginning of the 1990s, when I began my fieldwork on the social construction of national borders and identities at the German-French border in the Saar-Lorain region, European construction had reached a point where the political discourse might have made one believe in the disappearance of any kind of borders inside the European Union. Economic borders had fallen and the free circulation of people and goods led to the impression of unity and a European empathy on the part of its citizens. The Treaty on the European Union12 had been signed in Maastricht on 7 February 1992 and entered into force in November of the following year. But this treaty not only changed the name of the European Economic Community into the European Union, it also established co-operation between the governments of
12 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/treaties/dat/11992M/htm/11992M.html

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member states concerning issues such as defence, justice and home affairs, as well as the settings for the future single currency and a European foreign policy. The period between 1990 and 1999 became known therefore as Europe without frontiers, because of the great number of structurally unifying achievements such as the creation of a single market from 1st of January 1993 onwards13, with free movement for goods, services, people and money. The Schengen Agreement14 of March 1995 further reinforced this perception of a growing community. However, the outbreak of civil war in the Balkans in 1991 was already giving a first hint of how fragile political constructs can be, how far people are attached to their cultural differences, when they come under pressure, and how difficult it was for the European Union to act as one entity with regard to foreign affairs. The eruption of the great interest in a Europe of regions was another sign that showed the attachment of people rather to smaller regional identities, something, which sometimes dated from even before the construction of the European nation states. The Committee of the Regions (CoR) was also institutionalised by the Treaty of Maastricht and intended to integrate European regions more actively into the construction of the EU by including political levels below the nation state. But, in fact, it also helped to develop a great deal of regionalism or indirectly to foster separatist movements such as those of the Basques, the Catalans and the Flemish. My own Ph.D. fieldwork showed pretty fast that the daily practice of a European identity was (and unfortunately, still is) far from a reality (Lask 2002). Hence, the easier access to other European countries introduced the impression of a European space, even if the contact with the citizens of other European countries served mainly to underline cultural
13 http://europa.eu/pol/singl/index_en.htm 14 http://europa.eu/abc/travel/doc/index_en.htm

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differences, in the same way as Barth had described in interethnic contact situations. The application of Barths theory to nations, established through fieldwork with smaller ethnic groups, gave me the opportunity to find out whether there were comparable patterns between two such different scales. Convinced of Barths theoretical suitability in rethinking European policy and in giving some insights into how and for which issues to develop policies that foster European identity among its citizens, I tried to publish my Ph.D thesis in France. However, this was without any success. The usual answer I received from publishers was that such a thesis was not profitable. I then turned myself to the German publishing market and my manuscript was finally accepted. The project to publish a reader with Fredrik Barths most important papers met the same fate in France. One of the reasons for the failure to publish is undoubtedly that Barth was not sufficiently known in France in order to motivate a publisher to take the risk and to invest in a translation of the English texts for a textbook that had no promising market in French academia. Barths methodological preoccupations with bringing about native categories through empirical fieldwork, did not quite meet the French concern with abstract philosophical comparisons. The importance of fieldwork is much greater in Anglo-Saxon than in French anthropology. French anthropological traditionally values more the conceptualising of data once back home. Hence, Mauss and Lvi-Strauss represent very typical precursors of this anthropological style of research. Mauss had no field experience at all and LviStrausss only experience of fieldwork throughout his career would remain his three month expedition to the Serra do Norte in Brazil. The reader I had organised together with Fredrik Barth was finally published in Brazil. Such a publication facilitated access to Barths theories for undergraduate studies and was therefore profitable, and Barth was already known and
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appreciated there in any case. The reader also contained one unpublished English paper and an interview I had undertaken with Barth in Oslo, and both also represented an interest for postgraduate studies. Curiously enough, at the same time that I was trying to sell my idea of a Barth reader and a book from my Ph.D. thesis in 1995, Philippe Poutignat and Jocelyne StreiffFenart published a book at the Presses Universitaires de France called Thories de lEthnicit, which announced on the cover that Barths introduction to the Ethnic Groups and Boundaries was published in the appendix. In 1998, their book was also published in Brazil by UNESP, the publishing house of the University of So Paulo. The book tries to understand why the term ethnicity did not find its way into French ethnology and sociology until the beginning of the 1990s, whereas in Anglo-Saxon social sciences ethnicity has been in continuous use since the 1970s. Following Poutignat and Streiff-Fenart, inter-ethnic studies had not received until then any interest from French social scientists, only quite exceptionally by Roger Bastide and Georges Balandier (1995:21-25). Even the immigration situation inside France had never been analysed from the point of view of ethnicity until the urban violence and racism linked to immigration began to be analysed by Delannoi/Taguieff (1991) and Wieviorka (1993), among others. So this might be an explanation for the low level of interest in theories of ethnicity in general and in Barth in particular. Concerning my Ph.D., the idea of applying the concept of ethnic groups to nation states in order to understand their political behaviour had therefore definitely not been ideal for fostering publishing interest in France. In fact, the Poutignat/Streiff-Fenart book is mainly a review of the Anglo-Saxon literature on ethnicity and concludes that the issue-oriented approach of the Anglo-Saxon concept of ethnicity is unsuitable for French social sciences. Instead of considering the identity of a social organisation
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and its culture as a problem sui generi, as happens in the USA, the authors propose to study how an ethnic Weltanschauung becomes relevant to their representatives (1995:17 and 201). It is clear that two completely different views of approaching the problem of cultural diversity are at stake here: the Anglo-Saxon one, which is based on a broad description and ethnographic analysis of social processes and interactions; and the French preoccupation with raising the discussion directly to a philosophical level. The authors also assume that pragmatic questions, such as those asked, for example, by Barth (e.g. how are ethnic borders maintained?) are of no interest to those who are searching for fast solutions to the immigration problems in France, but might be interesting to be raised as a first step before getting to the real sociological enquiry into the interethnic phenomenon in France (Poutignat/Streiff-Fenart 1995:17-18). What is particularly disturbing for both the French authors is the fact that Barth wants to construct social frontiers and ethnic borders through studying the concrete process, meaning the interaction that elucidates what kind of values make people differ from each other and how these are displayed and then symbolically represented. What seems to be unacceptable is that Barth considers common sense as scientifically relevant for theory building. It is clear that both the French authors ignore Barths methodological attitude to working with data, which is based as closely as possible on native notions for best translating their reality for scientific interpretation. Only then is a theory reliable for Barth. The French philosophic approach15 is much more
15 Most French anthropologists and sociologists have first studied philosophy and have only then turned to anthropology or sociology, and this largely informs their way of conceiving anthropology. Let us mention just a few of the outstanding names of French sociology and anthropology: Mauss first studied philosophy in Bordeaux and even his uncle, Emile Durkheim, was greatly influenced during his own studies at

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focused on the exercise of abstraction. In this sense it is understandable that Jean-William Lapierre, who wrote a preface to the Poutignat/Streiff-Fenart book, considers their proposition a substantial advance over Barths (in Poutignat/Streiff-Fenart 1995:12-13). The reason that Lapierre reproaches Barth is that Barth does not establish beforehand the criteria that will be relevant for ethnic distinction. Therefore, following Lapierre, Barths definition of an ethnic border allows one to talk of ethnic groups in terms of any kind of collective regroupments from worker unions to religious sects. What Lapierre did not understand is that, for Barth, the selection itself that members of an ethnic group make is the key to understanding what constitutes their specificity, because it displays their own values. If one applies, as Lapierre suggests, a pre-established filter in categorising and classifying what is an ethnic choice and what is not, the definition of ethnic belonging is biased by the researchers own values. Barths paper, Ethnic Groups and Boundaries has been the most frequently quoted text on ethnic boundaries in the world since its publication in 1969. Therefore, the announcement in the Poutignat/Streiff-Fenart book (1995:18) that Barths introduction to this paper would appear as an appendix, is an intriguing way of presenting Barth to French academia and proves how little is known about his work. Barths image is reduced to someone who published an important paper at the end of the 1960s. The book even fails completely to convey Barths importance as ethnographer, theorist of anthropological comparative methods and as a representative of a politically engaged anthropology (in the sense that he makes his knowledge available to decision makers in order to attain better results).
the Ecole Normal by the philosopher mile Boutroux. Lvi-Strauss studied philosophy and Bourdieu represents no exception to this typical French trajectory.

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Since 1969, Barth has published numerous books (his first dates from as far back as 1961), as well as countless papers.

Hints for rethinking the circulation of scientific ideas


The act of choosing what is scientifically more relevant for theory building, or an empirical or a philosophical approach, is already determined by a certain habitus of scientific culture. This should, however, not lead to prejudice and misinterpretation of what the other choice might contribute, but rather to a communication about what each method of research can add to a better understanding of a problem. Nothing can be gained if this discussion resumes by stating that one way is more substantial than the other, and particularly not for a better circulation of ideas and theories. In this sense, the attempt by Poutignat/Streiff-Fenart to bring to the French public a review of what had been produced in the Anglo-Saxon academic field demonstrates a very positive attitude. Of course, the conception of the book proves the ignorance of the importance of Fredrik Barths work and, in general, there is still a big gap to be closed in order to understand the Anglo-Saxon academic field from the French point of view. One can certainly say that, on the one hand, the political context plays a role in enhancing the success of an authors academic production. This is an element that cannot be controlled, of course, in the same way that the appearance of a suitable person as a vector cannot be controlled. On the other hand, a higher level of competence in foreign languages would allow the opening up of the academic horizon, and I am not referring exclusively to Francophone countries here. Many Anglophone countries suffer from the same problem, but they have more often a fast access to translation.
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One of the main reasons for Barths absence in the Francophone countries of Europe is the different perception of where an anthropologist should undertake fieldwork. Whereas Brazilian anthropologists find and deal with the other inside their own society, in France and in Belgium, anthropologists are still associated with exotic people in far away places. Social problems at home are reserved for resolution by sociologists, as though anthropologists were assumed to work with less complex societies than the sociologist. Politically speaking, France has promoted, since the French Revolution, the concept of universality as a model for citizenship, and cultural difference is in this sense not welcome on French territory. This might explain the relatively easy acquisition of French citizenship by secondgeneration immigrants in France.16 Maybe today, as the immigrants in France find themselves so estranged from French society that they attack it by physical violence, they also might become eligible for anthropological studies of the construction and maintenance of ethnic borders inside French society. However, I doubt that the role of the emergency doctor for the society will be wanted by French anthropologists.

16 In Japan, where the fear of the other is very highly developed, the official policy for immigration was to bring back to Japan the descendents of Japanese emigration to Latin America. Many still had a Japanese passport and their presence could not be detected in the statistics. This did not prevent a series of social problems in Japan, because these immigrants only looked Japanese, when culturally speaking they were Latin Americans (Lask 2000c).

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