From the concept of ‘subject’ to the concepts of subjectivization and de-subjectivization

Le working paper de Michel Wieviorka

Sociology has recently opened up to the concept of 'subject' and, even more recently, to the project of envisaging the subject's dark, destructive and self-destructive aspects. We now have to take a further step and give some consideration to the processes of subjectivization and de-subjectivization by means of which the subject, and its dark counterpart, the anti-subject, are shaped and ceaselessly transformed. Once we have done this, it will be possible to analyse the phenomena of the projection of memories into public space from a new angle, namely, precisely, the processes of subjectivization and de-subjectivization in the course of which memories are projected into the public sphere or remain buried in the silence of consciences.

The author

Michel Wieviorka is Director of Studies at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and is currently a director of the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme. He led the Center for Sociological Analysis and Intervention (CADIS) founded by Alain Touraine. He has published work on social movements, racism, terrorism, violence, multiculturalism and cultural differences. Small selection : Sociétés et terrorisme, Paris, Fayard, 1988 ; L’espace du racisme, Paris, Seuil, 1991 ; La démocratie à l’épreuve. Nationalisme, populisme, ethnicité, Paris, La Découverte, 1993 ; Une société fragmentée. Le multiculturalisme en débat (dir.), Paris, La Découverte, 1996 ; La diférence, Paris, Balland, 2001 ; La tentation antisémite. Haine des juifs dans la France d’aujourd’hui (dir.), Paris, Robert Lafont, 2005 ; Neuf leçons de sociologie, Paris, Editions Robert Lafont, octobre 2008 (rééd. Fayard, Pluriel, 2011) ; Evil (Polity Press, 2012).


Michel Wieviorka. Du concept de sujet à celui de subjectivation/dé-subjectivation. FMSH-WP-2012-16. 2012. <halshs-00717835>


Mis à jour le
01 July 2012