Mahaut Ritz | Forscherin Fellow

Critical Thinking in the Plural. Conceptual Approaches in Research in the Social Sciences
Centre Marc Bloch, Friedrichstraße 191, D-10117 Berlin
Email: mahaut.ritz  ( at )  gmail.com Tel: +49(0) 30 / 20 93 70700 or 70707
Website: http://http://

Home Institution : Université Grenoble Alpes | Disciplines : Philosophy |

Scholarship

01.10.2013 - 30.09.2016 Contrat Doctoral de l'Université Grenoble Alpes 

01.01.2016 - 30.04.2016 Bourse doctorale du CMB

Researchtopic

La précarité en tant que nouvelle problématique sociale et objet de la critique sociale, émergés dans les années 70-80. 

Après deux années de Master, durant lesquelles j’ai axé mon étude sur la philosophie sociale, à travers la tradition de la Théorie critique allemande notamment, le concept de précarité, central en sociologie et peu voire non-traité en philosophie, m’est apparu comme un nouveau terrain de recherche intéressant pour la philosophique sociale critique. En effet, toujours conceptualisé comme une « pathologie sociale » de la société dite « néolibérale », le concept de précarité n’a jamais été réellement interrogé à l’intérieur des discours et des représentations en tant que nouvelle problématique sociétale et sociale. Après deux ans de recherche, inspirés autant par la sociologie française, très riche en études et littérature sur la précarité, et la philosophie française, celle qui s'intéresse à l’analyse de discours en particulier, que par la philosophie allemande et tout particulièrement la tradition de la Théorie critique, au centre de ma formation doctorale à Berlin, mon projet de recherche s’est orienté vers une hypothèse forte : la précarité (la vie précaire) correspond à une norme négative du néolibéralisme. 

(cotutelle)
Title of thesis

Sur les difficultés et le potentiel critique d'un concept de précarité en philosophie sociale

Summary of thesis

The thesis falls within the field of social philosophy and is inspired more precisely by the tradition of German critical Theory and its cross-disciplinary orientation. Its object is the critical examination of the concept of precarity, both the problem that the concept seeks to grasp and the critical concept itself.

In the last forty years, since the emergence of words conceptualizing precarity ("precarity", "precariousness", "precarization", "precariat") and their earliest studies, the sociological literature on this subject has burgeoned. Indeed, as the obverse of neoliberal flexibility, precarity, has inspired works on various problems and on a range of scales. These converge mainly toward a conceptualization of precarity as a "social pathology", threatening the cohesion of society as a whole and menacing with exclusion those in unstable positions. Globally, the present thesis finds blind spots and limits to this reading of precarity, starting with the difficulty of discerning the boundary line between positive flexibility and negative precarity in the workplace. Our critical study first calls into question this "pathological" reading of precarity, which has become a generally accepted representation of the subject.

Using France as its basis, the thesis explores the history of transformations in the organization of work and social security at the turning point between Fordism and post-Fordism. It was during these transformations that the first vocabulary of precarity was formulated in France in the 1970s (part I). The thesis focuses on the sociogenesis of critical concepts and its patterning of precarity and exclusion (parts I and II). Based on these studies, the author proposes a critical theory of precarity as a phenomenon linked to the neo-liberalization of the structures of developed capitalist states and as a concept capable of grasping a reality (diagnostic) as well as categorizing the social (ideological) world. Finally, the thesis leads to an understanding of the problem of the "precarious" population in the light of a philosophy of misery and sees in neoliberal precarity an organization of dispossession, in the Marxist sense of the term (part III). In other words, the “precarious” population is conceived above all as dispossessed. The development of autonomous collective projects is thus seen as consequence of this dispossession and offers fertile ground for political reflection.

Institution of thesis

Université Grenoble Alpes / Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Supervisor

Éric Dufour / Rahel Jaeggi

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Affiliated Institute

© Centre Marc Bloch 2018 - Deutsch-Französisches Forschungszentrum für Sozialwissenschaften, Berlin

© Centre Marc Bloch 2018 - Deutsch-Französisches Forschungszentrum für Sozialwissenschaften, Berlin