Yves Mettler & Laurent Thévenot (2021)
In: Yves Mettler (ed.), Atlas Europe Square, MIT Press, pp. 120-145.
Extract: “A course on urban anthropology, directly linked to his interest in urban space and his artistic practice of writing and narration, completed the curriculum, for which he also had to choose two external Masters’ seminars to attend. Having followed Marc Abélès’s seminar on the anthropology of globalisation, Mettler turned, for the second, to Laurent Thévenot’s sociology of action. Abélès’s seminar had introduced some powerful tools for thinking about globalisation and constructing a theory of how cultures react to this process. But Thévenot’s pragmatic sociology, attentive to the engagements of the individual ranging from the intimate to the public, seemed to respond directly to the questions Mettler was posing as to how a person’s modes of participation could be evaluated. It was the remarkably fine-grained attention to the attachments involved in very different contexts (advertising, WWF round tables, urban parks) and the pursuit of a language capable of speaking about such attachments, that made Mettler listen keenly to Thévenot’s seminar at EHESS.” (p. 154)