Accueil > Recherche > Axes de Recherche > Axe de recherche 2 : Les territoires du quotidien : représentations, pratiques, projets

Research axis 2 - Everyday territories : representations, practices and projects

Scientific objectives

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Within axis 2, the two main lines of research developed have made it possible to address two distinct levels of analysis : daily practices on the one hand, and territorial structural development and planning projects at different scales, on the other hand. Emphasis on the importance of observation at the individual scale, reorganisation of groups and the effect of representation accounts for the many directions shared by all of the researchers grouped around this subject. Ordinary practices are thus tackled using a two–pronged approach : behaviour, representation, and individual and collective practices on the one hand, and territorial structural development and the paradigms on which they are based, on the other hand. Even if the individual is often placed at the centre of the problem, he is thought of as belonging to a social, or even a professional group. The research operations within this axis, even if they concentrate on the micro- and meso-geographical scales, take an interest in territorial production via the confrontation of the key players’ strategies and their representations. How can the encounter in one location of households looking for housing and employment, companies looking for accessible locations at a good price, local communities having certain projects, create a territory or territories and ways of co-habiting ? Analysis of these overlapping interests, of scales of management, of different horizons of action and power, and of representations which are different from well known or everyday ones, is essential if one wants to understand the evolution processes in territorial structural development.

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Both types of approach are complementary. Taking the diversity of practices and individual and community representations into account makes it possible to make a better evaluation of the degree of coherence in territorial structural development. This organisation and spatial development system interests geographers, sociologists, anthropologists, architects and planners because they reflect the evolution of social relationships in their material, social and spatial dimensions. In fact, the topics proposed in this axis reflect one of the profound trends in the evolution of post-industrial societies. In the multi-ownership system which characterises them (which is translated for some by multi-locality in housing), personal identity markers are built differently, and are more often reconsidered. Housing, the neighbourhood, the garden, shops and premises frequented, the places around which people’s daily lives are constructed, play a role which is just as important as workplaces, which are becoming more and more mobile themselves. At a time when real or virtual horizons are becoming wider, habitat has more and more impact on the construction of individual identities. Also in question are cultural practices, in particular in their relationships with use reading material which permits the reinforcement of social relationships and also under-pins the construction of autonomy.

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