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Profane citizenship in Europe - Testing democratic ownership in hybrid situations
Symposium organised by the PROFACITY project

19-21 September 2011, Lyon, France
ISH, 14 avenue Berthelot, 69007




The symposium will address new forms of citizenship that are experimented with by people living in hybrid situations - i.e. not strictly within the norm - and that modify the outlines of juridical citizenship. Those forms of citizenship imply practical activities connected with existing schemes or milieus: what is at stake is the continuous invention of the democratic principle itself, i.e. the "right to have rights". Such practices assert and express a "right to the city" that is not immediately granted, featuring what the researchers call profane citizenship and also standing as a tool to analyse democratic ownership.

In particular, the symposium will examine how the practices of actors who are in situations in which they have to make do with their faults, handicaps, lack of resources on the one hand, and with the total or partial denial of their citizenships or of any willingness to address the issue on the other hand, are taken (or not) into account as alternatives to so-called expert citizenship. It will try to determine where and when the notion of profane citizenship has impacted the recent transformations of democracy in various national frameworks, by concentrating not only on the juridical concepts of citizenship but also on its corresponding sociological configurations. To do so, the symposium will use the materials and first results from fieldwork into different situations that have been submitted to the groups of people concerned.