Research and Action Perspectives for Scientific Valorization: Some Hyper-Media Experiments in Archeology (Perspectives de recherche et d’action pour la valorisation scientifique : sur quelques expériences hypermédias en archéologie) (p. 9–46)
The communication of scientific knowledge is an essential and integral element of science, taking part in its political and social justifications. Centered on the field of archaeology, the reflexion is focused here on hypermedia valorisation perceived like a process of transmission, by the digital technologies, of the scientific knowledge aimed at a non-specialized public. Four experiments of design and realization of archaeological hypermedias are used to explore various prospects: endogenous complexity of hypermedias, professionalization of hypermedia mediation, transversality of digital devices, exogenic complexity. We propose that this conjunction of prospects helps better understand of how are defined new conditions of research and action for scientific valorisation. We also want to show concretely how the digital technics take part in the progression of science and in the democratization of knowledge by using digitals tools for mediation.
Keywords: Media, internet, archeology, scientific valorisation, tourism, heritage.
Elements to criticize Action Theories (Éléments de critique des théories de l’action) (p. 47–60)
The rational actor theory model consists of concepts which are presented as equal and necessarily interdependent. These concepts are also understood as the cause and the expression of the actor’s autonomy. It is surprising that, despite all the developments in social sciences, human action continues to be constructed and interpreted from a perspective in which conscience, rationality, strategy, interest and intention constitute an atomic-like theoretical structure. An in-depth look at this structure, in fact, reveals that these five core concepts are of different semantic levels as well as not necessarily linked theoretically. Through this exercise, we discover that the model does not distinguish between principial and analytical categories. We also realize that while some of these concepts or categories are necessarily correlated, others are not and that the model’s heuristic value, therefore, needs to be addressed; a series of indicators are suggested, which may allow for such a verification.
Keywords: Action theories, intention, consciousness, liberty, rationality, interest, strategy.
Funeral Rites and Human Sciences (Rites funèbres et sciences humaines : synthèse et hypothèses) (p. 61–139)
The practice of funeral rites has existed for more than one hundred thousand years. These rites have many social functions, particularly that of erecting a social construct between death and the living, between death and society. Many authors from the social sciences have discussed the recent major changes in funeral rites throughout the Western world, and have suggested either deritualization or the creation of new funeral rites. Through an examination of writings on funeral rites in both traditional and modern societies, we propose a synthesis of the actual state of knowledge about the nature of funeral rites in these societies. We then put forward a number of hypotheses in order to verify if the changes now apparent in postmodern society suggest a change in the very nature of these rites.
Keywords: Death, rites, myths, postmodernity, sacred.
Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis: Two Visions, One Science (Analyses qualitatives et quantitatives : deux visions, une même science) (p. 141–149)
Qualitative and quantitative methods are often presented as opposed or contradictory. The present article suggests that these two types of methods have, in fact, much in common and are bound by the same scientific criteria. Not only are their roles, in human sciences, complementary, but also 1) both their analyses are defined by their representative character, 2) their results must characterize a specific group, 3) their characterizations must be adapted according to individual variations, 4) their analyses must establish links between the studied objects/subjects and 5) their analyses are subject to the necessary tension which stems from the obligation of grouping the results without disregarding the distinctive features of the data.
Keywords: Qualitative method, quantitative method, science.
Is a Systemic Relational Paradigm Possible? Proposition of a Relational Typology (Un paradigme systémique relationnel est-il possible ? Proposition d’une typologie relationnelle) (p. 151–175)
Sociologists regularly wonder about the unification of their knowledge and about the means to reach it. Some of them believe that not only is the achievement of this objective possible, but that they already possess a paradigm: the relational analysis. They support that, paradoxically, sociology, so far, did not know how to give itself this paradigm as a unifying principle. We defend the idea that there are relational sociologies, as shown by the typology which we propose. Furthermore, we defend that the relation cannot, for various reasons, serve as a unifying principle. Rather, we see in it a ground of confrontation between the upholders of the relational approach and within each approach referring to the relational analysis.
Keywords: System analysis, relational approach, sociology.