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Francophone Working Group

The University of Perugia hosted the IIIrd Conference of the Francophone Working Group ‘Migrations, pandemic crisis and new inequalities’.

The University of Perugia (Italy) hosted the IIIrd Conference of the Francophone Working Group of SIEF (XXXIIIrd Workshop of the Eurethno Network of the Council of Europe) from 15th to 17th September 2022.

The conference focused on various challenges the social sciences face today: migration crisis, crisis of democracies, increase in social inequalities, dimensions that have been exacerbated by the Covid19 pandemic crisis, which has called into question the order and rules of social life.

Over the past two years, two types of problem have come together: a socio-sanitary crisis of such magnitude that it affects the entire planet, accompanied by an increase in forms of inequality between countries (North/South), but also within each country, among those who have maintained or improved their economic prospects, and among those who have lost their jobs and the possibility of finding them. This increases migratory flows and socio-economic conflicts, which also become ethnic and religious. Social, religious and economic inequalities are the great challenges of Western societies, in a pandemic phase which has not yet been overcome.

International relations between the main countries have entered into crisis, the role of Europe and of the various countries that make it up has changed. That's why new urban legends inspired by old themes of cultural difference are born and old legends resurrected on today's issues are back in fashion. These old and new narrative motifs are spreading rapidly in new media and are inspired by conspiratorial ideologies, scapegoats, new exclusions, new inequalities. At the same time, anthropologists found themselves confronted with the impossibility of doing research, with having to live the “suspended time” of public rituals, popular and religious festivals, the fear of gatherings.

The IIIrd Conference of the French-speaking working group of the SIEF has proposed a European comparison on the way in which anthropologists reflect on these questions, at the level of the different national realities, and with what perspectives, in order to raise awareness of the difficulties linked to research and open to social dynamics. The contributions were distributed in 4 panels:

-Inequality and migration

-New research tools

-Metropolitan Legends

-Post-pandemic anthropology

19 speakers were present at the conference. The French-speaking working group decided to propose panels at the 2023 Brno Congress and will welcome SIEF members willing to present their works in French.