Volume 4, Number 1, 2008

prise-deparole-logo-40This journal is published in French only.

Bernard Ancori

Space-Time Span of a Complex Socio-Cognitive Network. II: Historical Temporality and Socio-Cognitive Entropy (Espace-temps d’un réseau sociocognitif complexe. II : Temporalités historiques et entropie sociocognitive) (p.9–76)


The space of a complex sociocognitive network, as pre­sented in a previous article, is only a temporal episode of the network, in which spatial and temporal dimensions cannot be dissociated. The temporal dimension of the network thus comprises several interconnected aspects. Indeed, the subjective time of each actor observed and the objective time of the observer of the network require the introduction of a third term, so that they can be studied as temporal phenomena. This third time is the time as such, under which subjective and objective times are subsumed. The subjective time is that of the actors within the network and the objective time is the one of the observer of this network. As the roles of the actor and the observer of the network are interchangeable, this article suggests to associate time as such with the topolo­gical form of a Moebius strip. More generally, the time as such takes the form of a structure of foliated space: an infinite number of Moebius strips ordered by a growing hierarchy of connection between the infinite numbers of levels of organization within a network. This article analyses the modifications of this structure for just three levels of organization. Given a certain continuity of subjective and objective times within the network, modi­fications only concern a given Moebius strip. This is the case for the periods of “normal science” in the Kuhnian analysis of scientific evolution, or more generally in all processes of learning without undergoing major change. However, once this continuity is broken, for example during a scientific revolution, a religious conversion, or any other major rupture of the process of learning, the Moebius strip itself will equally undergo change.

Keywords: Knowledge theory, situated learning, combinatory infor­mation, complex infra-individualism, propensity to com­municate, cluster of actors, specious present, time as such, informational balance and enthropy, semantic of possible wolds, scientific revolution (Kuhn).

Claude Vautier

The Long Itinerary of Relational Sociology (La longue marche de la sociologie relationelle) (p. 77–106)


Is the future of the sociology, as Monique Hirshhorn in a text published in 2000 imagines it, in the introduction of a “initiative clearly phenomenological”, allowing “not to reduce the ‘subject’ to the rational actor” and in a new questioning “on the social construction of the self” and “on the modes of elaboration of the identity”? Either it will be a question of turning rather to a sociology of the relation to which referred Laflamme in 1995, Emirbayer in 1997 or Donati in 2004, within networks as in the structural analysis or in the construction of trialectiques models proposed by Laflamme for whom only the rela­tion, the communication, being the social and the human, is the social and the human? This question is at the heart of this article which tries to show that the contemporary evolution of sociology goes from a socio­logy of “substances” (“objects” or “subjects”) towards a sociology of the relation.

Keywords: Actor, analysis of networks, communication, consciousness, individual, interaction, relation, networks, relational sociology, sociology of the subject, structure, subject.

Denis Martouzet

Territory of Public Action on Space and Reticulary Individual Spaces (Territoires de l’action publique spatiale et espaces réticulaires individuels : imbrication problématique) (p. 107–139)


The author examines the difficulties but also the possibi­lities of taking lived-in spaces into account when elabo­rating territorial projects within the context of public participation in the project. Individual spatialities, esta­blished according to an original method of investigation and re-evaluating the notion of lived-in space through that of said spaces, have neither a scale nor a structure which can correspond to institutional spaces of public action. The individual’s dwelling is defined as the method and content of justifications for evocations of spaces and places that are frequented or simply thought of. Different types of justification are specified: qualification, explana­tion, rationalization. This dwelling allows us to distin­guish between, in an archetypal manner, individuals who refer first and foremost to one or more spatial models constructed during their lives, and those who, in contrast, refer to one or more spatial models of a relational kind (two examples are examined). The first category can be taken into account by planners, the second with much greater difficulty.

Keywords: Land planning, urban planning, project, territory, indi­vidual, affectivity, spatial qualification, rationalization, lived-in space, said spaces.

Simon Laflamme

Linear Statistical Analysis and Systemic Interpretation (Analyse statistique linéaire et interprétation systémique) (p. 141–159)


Most statistical analyses are built according to a linear logic: analysis of variance, regression analysis. Yet, several of these analyses describe phenomena for which theore­tical interpretation is impossible with linear logic; these phenomena rather require dialectical type theorization. More than that: linear statistical techniques commonly allow for multivariate modelling. However, associations between the variables that they describe, even though they are statistically submitted to a linear logic, easily allow for a systemic interpretation. Thus, statistical analysis linearity can serve relational or systemic theoriza­tions. That is what the article illustrates. To this end, results from two empirical analyses operated with statis­tical tools on two social phenomena (relation between youth and their community, media uses) are presented; they show how objects that are depicted cannot be theo­rized properly without resorting to notions of recursive­ness, dialectic, and system.

Keywords: Statistical analysis, systemic analysis, relational analysis, linearity, systems theory.