The Meetings of Tinos

29.02.2012
Topic of the year 2012: Systems of Education and Employment in the Mediterranean: Crisis of Reproduction - Crisis of the State

From the year 2012, the Pierre Bourdieu Foundation in cooperation with the departement of philosophy and social sciences of the university of Crete, the cultural festival of the municipality of Tinos and the Cultural Foundation of Tinos proposes the establishment of a research mechanism devoted to meetings and exchanges among intellectuals, cultural and scientific producers, around social issues and current cultural challenges. A seminar will be held every two years in Tinos for the duration of one week and will bring together representatives from different countries, disciplines and scientific and cultural practices who share a critical point of view inspired by Pierre Bourdieu and his sociology but also by the form of an intellectual intervention associated with the name of “Raisons d’ Agir” of which he was the founder. At the same time, the concept of TINOS will be based on the prolongation of collective exchanges and productions of the network of ESSE (6th Framework Programme of the EU), which is formed by a large number of collaborators of Pierre Bourdieu from diverse countries and disciplines, it will be a first opportunity for the Foundation to bring together the conditions of social possibility of the “international collective intellectual”, an endearing term to Pierre Bourdieu.

Each of the meetings of Tinos will revolve around a theme defined by a steering committee. The number of participants will be restricted to 20 people, coming from different countries in order to enable a broad intercultural exchange. Discussions and publications will be in English and French. All participants are expected to speak in one out of the two languages and understand the second.

The first meeting of this type will take place in early July 2012 and its object of study will be the crisis of modes of social reproduction and the concomitant political changes as they appear nowadays in different countries around the Mediterranean.

As much as this crisis may refer to particular economic contexts, to variable socio-structural conditions and to diverse political regimes and dynamics, as much it seems legitimate to raise a query about a certain number of parallelisms such as the structural and chronic unemployment affecting especially a highly skilled youth in the countries of North Africa just like in the countries of southern Europe such as Greece, Spain, Portugal or France.

The current crisis, both economic and political and social, will be apprehended as “a crisis of reproduction”, a crisis of reproduction both in the familial and intergenerational level (insecurity of youth, especially of the highly educated young people), thereby also as a crisis of reproduction of the middle class but also as a state crisis (in question the modes of political regulation against the markets, crisis of the social welfare and of the educational systems and, last but not least, a crisis already manifested in the form of revolts and protestations of the younger generation in the countries of Maghreb, in Spain or in France).

The seminar of TINOS will bring together researchers from different countries –especially those affected by the problem under consideration. We, therefore, suggest taking as a geopolitical framework the countries of Maghreb, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Greece, where such relatively convergent symptoms of crisis are currently experienced and inviting researchers from these countries.

They will be asked to arrive at TINOS with a “dossier de travail” that they will have prepared in advance on the basis of a set of transverse sociological queries that will be defined as key- issues of the meeting by the steering group. This will create a context of collective work in order to provide an appropriate space to the “collective intellectual” that Pierre Bourdieu was calling for so insistently.

In these national preparatory reports the participants will provide to each other data and information, available in their respective contexts but often difficult to access for “foreigners” for linguistic or practical reasons but mainly because of the fact of their specific contextuality. As Durkheim put it so well: “Data is never given but constructed” and, for example, what youth unemployment “means in the statistics of this or the other country is not so often that compatible with what is also measured under the same term. Each of the participants will then offer, as an ethnographic informer of his own cultural context, a theoretical diagnosis of the data presented, in order to contribute to a well founded intercultural exchange, and of the conclusions concerning the analogies and homologies with the other contexts presented.

The fruits of this collective work will be published first on the website set up by our Greek partners, under the direction of Nikos Panayotopoulos, and, then, in the form of a collective edition in English and French.