Project Leader: Dr. Bruno Lefort, Postdoctoral researcher
This research project explores how young people’s participation in their own societies inform the social dynamics shaping the contemporary Middle East. By participation, we understand the involvement in performative acts concerned by the experience and organization of interbeing, the “living together”. Participation is experienced, thought, visualized, realized and narrated. It composes the everyday reality of social interactions in contentious societies deeply imprinted by violent or latent conflicts. By engaging in a dialogue between the sociology of youth and the master narratives of Middle-Eastern politics, we aim at showing how the situated composition of an intimate cognition of the social, as well as its embodiment in performative acts, shapes the everyday crafting of reinvented modes of participation among young people in their societies. Rather than dichotomous approaches of the region separating on the one hand individual practices and identity constructions, and the macro-level geopolitical or culturalist “grand narratives” attached to it on the other, we argue for a “middle ground”, based on collaborative ethnography and allowing us to grasp the daily making of interbeing in conflicting social settings.
This research project is conducted in collaboration with Caroline Ronsin (European University Institute, Florence). It is supported by the French Institute in the Near East (IFPO), Beirut Lebanon, in which Bruno Lefort is an associated researcher.
Bruno Lefort’s fieldwork (2015-2016) is founded through a CEDRE Program (Campus France) entitled: “Les universités, acteurs de la production urbaine à Beyrouth”.