PRINT Summer 1994


SINCE HIS FIRST PUBLISHED WRITINGS appeared some twenty-five years ago, Marc Augé has progressively turned his attention toward the Western society from which he comes, and which is now as much an object of study as the African societies he initially examined. There is nothing surprising about this: when the ethnologist returns to the place he started from, how can he logically abandon the habits of observation and analysis that underlie his practice? It was inevitable, then, that Augé’s field of research would be as broad as possible, and that his work on himself and his own culture would also reflect his desire to know the other. This back-and-forth is at the heart of his anthropological project, and is most strikingly illustrated in the dialectic he has continuously stressed between alterity and individuality, and between collective representations and individual ones, as something like

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