638.2 What does religion do to the people? A case study in contemporary France

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 9:18 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Anne GOTMAN , 75, CNRS - University Paris Descartes, Paris, France
As social scientists know well, the definition of "religion" has reached an amount of discussion, contradiction and a state of overabundance that leads some to call upon a Babel tower situation. This state of affairs comes from the "law" edicted by sociology founding fathers not to use pre-notions, but instead to construct one's definition of the subject to be studied. Owing to this rule, "religion" as a common sense word should not be used as an entry to its study. This proposition shall be discussed on the base of our study on What does the religion do to the people in contemporary France. We assume that definition is not the point but the methodology. Instead of starting from dogmas and their general applications, from normative statements and their singular applications, or from practices or beliefs, the case method allows to catch empirically what people bring into the category of "religion", what they make out of it, how it mixes with their ordinary life.