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Understanding the empirical and normative
complexity of deliberation:
why ethnography is useful
Marion Carrel
University L...
This talk is based on the paper:
Marion CARREL, « Politization and Publicization: the
Fragile Effects of Deliberation in W...
Marginalized individuals in
deliberation processes:
• Empowerment or reinforcement of stigmatization?
• The use of ethnogr...
Deliberation and poverty:
Four main theoretical issues
• Conflict and dissent in citizenship (Rancière)
• Deliberation in ...
The fieldwork: an empowerment
workshop on social housing
• Design
– A group of 13 participants: 7 professionals and 6 appl...
The deliberative experience: from
violence to argued conflict
• Anger and incomprehension on each side: « This
is impossib...
The deliberative experience: fragile
effects on participants
• Empowerment
« At the employement agency I said: ‘This isn’t...
The deliberative experience: a
temporary form of counter-power
• Deliberative counter-powers (Fung, Wright
2003)
• The pol...
The double pitfall of deliberative
processes
• Institutional resistance and political exploitation
« I don’t want to provi...
Concluding comments (1)
• The ideal of inclusion and social change: « opening
deliberation to non-argumentative and critic...
Concluding comments (2)
• Empowerment is a social construct
• In order to understand it better, researchers
needs to link ...
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Understanding the empirical and normative complexity of deliberation: why ethnography is useful

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Marion Carrel

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Understanding the empirical and normative complexity of deliberation: why ethnography is useful

  1. 1. Understanding the empirical and normative complexity of deliberation: why ethnography is useful Marion Carrel University Lille 3-CeRIES (Lille) Centre d’étude des mouvements sociaux-EHESS (Paris) Citizens in the Making – Tampere – May 2016
  2. 2. This talk is based on the paper: Marion CARREL, « Politization and Publicization: the Fragile Effects of Deliberation in Working-Class Districts », European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, vol.2, Nos 3-4, Sept-Dec 2015, p. 185-188.
  3. 3. Marginalized individuals in deliberation processes: • Empowerment or reinforcement of stigmatization? • The use of ethnography to take us beyond this binary confrontation: – Explore citizenship in its relational dimensions (Clarke, Coll, Dagnino, Neveu 2013 ; Carrel, Neveu 2014) – Monitor the emergence of public issues while preserve an interest in structural data (Luhtakallio, Eliasoph 2014) – Dialogue between description and theory (Frega 2015; Berger, Charles 2014; Carrel, Cefaï, Talpin 2012)
  4. 4. Deliberation and poverty: Four main theoretical issues • Conflict and dissent in citizenship (Rancière) • Deliberation in small group vs public space (Chambers) • Participation and representation (Sintomer) • Knowledge and power, the role of language (Bourdieu, Ricoeur)
  5. 5. The fieldwork: an empowerment workshop on social housing • Design – A group of 13 participants: 7 professionals and 6 applicants for social housing (financial compensation) – 12 days of work spread out over a 6 months period – Demand: social department of a French city – Animation: Suzanne Rosenberg and colleague – Output: information leaflet on the application process for social housing and propositions to the city and state • Methodology – Observation and interviews – The case of Lila
  6. 6. The deliberative experience: from violence to argued conflict • Anger and incomprehension on each side: « This is impossible », « you are lying », « you’re only here for your personal interest » • The inquiry (Dewey): Slow elaboration of narratives, collective investigation on Lila’s dossier • Awareness of institutional dysfunctions and political dimension of social housing
  7. 7. The deliberative experience: fragile effects on participants • Empowerment « At the employement agency I said: ‘This isn’t right’. That’s what changed for me » (Laure) • Beginnings of politization « The workshop was like a wake-up call (…) I am ready for action» (Lila)
  8. 8. The deliberative experience: a temporary form of counter-power • Deliberative counter-powers (Fung, Wright 2003) • The political objectives of Celine, co-director of the social department, to bring issues of social justice in the public arena • Organizational changes and public claims
  9. 9. The double pitfall of deliberative processes • Institutional resistance and political exploitation « I don’t want to provide an alibi for public housing agencies and elected representatives who have no housing to offer» (Yacine) • Absence of durability of collective action: Lila’s withdrawal Six months after, Lila had given up trying to denounce the injustices of social housing beyond her immediate circle of friends and family.
  10. 10. Concluding comments (1) • The ideal of inclusion and social change: « opening deliberation to non-argumentative and critical forms of expression » (Young); « deliberative activism » (Fung) • The importance of the political objectives pursued • The importance of organization through collective action • Empowerment requires time (Eliasoph): Twelve days are not enough?
  11. 11. Concluding comments (2) • Empowerment is a social construct • In order to understand it better, researchers needs to link up fields often considered as disconnected: – Conflictual, bottom-up approaches to citizenship (social movements) – Institutional apparatus (participatory democracy) – Day-to-day practices (ordinary citizenship)

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