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Profane citizenship in Europe - Testing democratic ownership in hybrid situations (PROFACITY)
Start date: Nov 1, 2008, End date: Oct 31, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"By concentrating on hybrid, not strictly normative social situations, we consider how people experiment with novel forms of citizenship that modify the outlines of formal citizenship. Such forms of citizenship imply practical activities connected to existing set-ups or milieus, and what is at stake is the continuous invention of the democratic principle itself, i.e. the « right to rights ». The task at hand is to affirm and implement the « right to the city », not immediately conceded, that we call profane citizenship, and that we intend to use as a means of analyzing democratic ownership. Our research program aims to examine in what ways the practices of actors who find themselves in situations where they have to make do with their faults, handicaps, lack of resources, are taken (or not) into account as alternatives to juridical citizenship. We will focus on “milieus of translation” gathering the “have-some” people acting in solidarity networks. Three interconnected fields are concerned (languages and codes, proofs of identity, tests of urbanity), leading to qualitative surveys whose materials and first results will be submitted with sensing methodology to professional and institutional representatives. This in turn will lead us to reconsider the notion of profane citizenship with an eye to the recent transformations of democracy in various national frameworks, by concentrating not only on the juridical concepts of citizenship, but also on its sociological configurations. The theoretical and experimental contribution expected from this research project aims to develop the notion of profane citizenship, showing how it allows, in situations of delicate or relative balance, to take into account, according to the different national and democratic political cultures, both the uniqueness of the personal actions they imply and the political ontology involved thereby."

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