In 2008 was published by the Presses universitaires de Rennes the book voice actors, low which we had proposed a review in Links Socio. Co-ordinated by Jean-Paul Payet, Frédérique Giuliani and Denis Laforgue, the authors of this collective work proposed the sémantisme “dwarf” to refer to individuals who are disqualified, weakened from whom they were investigating. We read with interest the contribution conclusive of Roland Raymond, who decrypts the problem of the actor is low, and is referred to as an ” object track “. The book is The relationship of inquiry. The sociology of the challenge of the actors low that just came out is sort of volume 2 of this work. If the “return” on the conditions under which the researcher builds her analysis was well documented in regards to the investigation in the bourgeois1, or the survey in the media popular2, the texts gathered together in The relationship of inquiry. The sociology of the challenge of the actors in low respond to the concern to continue this work of exemplification of the workings of the field survey by providing a look on the configurations of the weakening of individuals. Opus methodology, this book is entirely turned toward the specification of issues that characterize the sociological surveys with actors disqualified. “The survey of individuals weakened is responding to the same questions, and only questions of epistemology and methodology as it is taught in the textbooks ? “(p. 7) Is the study of actors in low requires a specific methodology ? What are the dilemnes specific to the survey of actors weakened ?
Opening the black box of their fieldwork, the authors gathered here are betting that the conditions of a survey “players low” is heuristic and ethics. Heuristic first of all, for taking seriously the challenges related to the field work in a prison, with cancer patients, suburban youth, families in a precarious situation, migrant sex trade workers…it is to provide the means to resolve them and to identify their consequences on the work of the interpretation of the data, so to facilitate the work of reflexivity before and during the field survey. If it is not to give “tricks of the trade” to full-fledged, a set of tips and tricks to avoid the pitfalls of the field work, the contributions gathered are part of the ” professional socialization as a sociologist “3 : what are the conditions of the meeting on the ground, of the code of the word, what use can we make of the look on the ground ?… Ethics then, because the survey of the disqualified person asks questions of decency, that the contribution of Benoît Eyraud and Pierre A. Vidal-Naquet highlights. The authors of the book share a common epistemological stance : they posit the illegitimacy of the epistemological break with common sense and are rooted in a practical understanding, without falling into the danger in the opposite direction.4
The relationship of inquiry. The sociology of the challenge of the players low is a book firmly rooted in the ground : its wealth comes from unquestionably the variety of courses studied, as the theme strongly tied around of the “events of the investigation,” which is undoubtedly the guiding thread of the book.
Corinne Rostaing is back on his research into the world of the prison, and shows that it “does not emerge unscathed” : field work challenging, or even dangerous, which causes fear, embarrassment. How to establish the correct distance with a respondent incarcerated when one is oneself free of its movements ? Give freedom of speech to the interviewees is a way to reduce the symbolic violence of the interviews5 and to restore the forms of civility ordinary. How to react to put to the test of the respondents : when they test your ability to investigate in this environment ? How to react when a detainee wants to tell you with details the cause of his imprisonment ?
A student of the ” sex workers “, Milena Chimienti is wondering how to pay for it (symbolically and/or financially) of respondents who give of their time to the investigation. Should or should not pay its informants ? How to create trust without having the feeling of use of the respondents ? Daniel Bizeul raises the question of the proximity of the respondent with the investigator : how to produce meaning from the journey of an individual who is also his ex-lover ? How the distance is necessary for the objectification of the course is conducted or rendered impossible ? Catherine Delcroix raises the question of the restitution to the public of the investigation6. Simona Tersigni, questions the place assigned to it by the actors during the investigation (how is it presented by the respondents when it conducts an action within the period) and highlights a set of “estrangement and reconciliation cultural” (p. 85) with the respondents, which involves the learning of ” techniques of the body “.