Culture: Processes and forms

In this theme, researchers focus on studying the construction, dynamics and circulation of cultural forms. They analyse places that are institutionalized or undergoing institutionalization (artistic and cultural scenes, heritage sites, wastelands, museums, monuments, landscapes, etc.), and professional or amateur practices. These forms may be public or private in logic, and may be intended for broad or specific audiences.

The researchers view all cultural productions as resulting from socio-symbolic processes and as part of contemporary dynamics. Our research works towards a better understanding of the protean nature of culture, through field surveys, often from a comparative perspective and at different scales (local, national, international). The researchers thereby question the forms of culture, its dynamics within social and media spaces, processes of legitimization and delegitimation and forms of recognition by audiences.

Based on a dynamic vision of the forms of culture, the work of CNE researchers (1) tests cultural categorization (label, territorial mark, etc.), (2) questions the places where culture is produceand disseminated (“museum, research and society” relationships; hybridization of “public-private” models, etc.), and (3) analyses writings intended to mediate and their interpretation by audiences. It does so while (4) questioning the circulating discourses and representations of heritage (material, immaterial, natural).

In particular, the research studies the forms of culture in their materiality (the way they are embodied in formats or media, their pluri-semiotic character) and considers the social and symbolic relations that circulate around cultural institutions, both in terms of policies, communication strategies and territorial development (promotional and tourism strategies, visitor research and industrialization) and as a response to contemporary issues (development of digital technologies, new challenges within cultural policies and the definition of their institutions in the 21st century).