Urban Ethnology à la Francaise


Compared to the research done in urban ethnology in other European countries, the French studies in this field come up with some interesting features. In order to formulate a critical evaluation of urban ethnology in France, the following article sketches its development, capturing trends and main topics and trying to identify structural patterns. It turns out that ethnological approaches to urban culture have turned up since the 1970s and that this field of research has been practices mainly in Paris. There is no particular discipline dealing with urban ethnology, investigations are carried out by specialists from various disciplines, working individually or in teams. In view of the heterogenous approaches the scientific positions of French urban ethnology can hardly be defined precisely. Nevertheless, a particular interest for ‘the other’ within the own society can be seen to emerge. The various but often highly specialized projects of contemporary research form a colorful mosaic, reflecting an ‘ethnology in the city’ (ethnologie dansla ville) whereas a more general ‘ethnology of the city’ (ethnologie de la ville) is still lacking.

How to Cite

Gyr, U., (1999) “Urban Ethnology à la Francaise”, Ethnologia Europaea 29(1), 85-92. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.896

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.


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Ueli Gyr (Universität Zürich)



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