Description du projet :
Notes A.Ramos, 28.10.2019
* Engagement de Mme Anne Perriard à 20% en classe 15/4 du 01.12.18 au 31.03.19. Projection : 7'800 CHF sur les 11'000 CHF. Coûts réels selon SIRH 7'345 CHF. Le solde devrait être utilisé pour compenser manque du FNS pour son engagement sur le projet FNS obtenu (1670 CHF)
Personal development, understood in this study as techniques of the self, is seeing an ever-growing popularity: bestsellers translated into a huge array of languages are published worldwide, courses and workshops are on offer in a wide range of areas, and the internet is teeming with videos. This controversial popularity, in the sense that it has also attracted criticism, has not yet been investigated by social sciences. This research program therefore aims to get a grasp of the reasons for the popularity of those techniques of the self and to analyze them from within. It will be based on an empirical study examining a specific technique of the self: nonviolent communication (NVC). The mixed qualitative study comprises an analysis of the techniques of the self described in books, observations gathered from participants at courses and workshops held in French-speaking Switzerland as well as in California, and interviews with workshop trainers and participants as well as with people skeptical to NVC.
Our research program has three specific objectives:
1. Understand the tools used in one specific technique of the self, Nonviolent communication. Firstly, by analyzing the proposed tools and the normative assumptions they are based on. Secondly, by analyzing the processes involved in users' appropriation of these techniques of the self during their life trajectory, within a dispositional and career path perspective.
2. Identify the forms of power tied to the techniques of Nonviolent communication. Firstly, in cases where these techniques are used by a third party, by examining power that is external to individuals and influences them. Secondly, when individuals appropriate these techniques, by focusing on the empowerment these techniques offer to individuals by enabling them to identify and question internalized social norms or the unequal distribution of resources and privileges.
3. Analyze the complexity of experiences of techniques of the self by means of a cross-cutting analysis. This, by studying NVC in different areas (at work, in the family and in personal life), different geographical contexts (French-speaking Switzerland and California), and within an intersectional perspective, taking account of the effects of social position (gender, class) on access to these techniques, their appropriation or their rejection.
By adopting a comprehensive approach allowing us to grasp processes of appropriation of these techniques, this research program will produce a scientific analysis of
so-called personal development techniques and the transformation processes they engender, which have otherwise often been associated with 'magic' by their devotees or with 'manipulation' by their skeptics. By studying personal development enthusiasts as well as its sceptics and critics, the program will also provide a balanced overview of this research topic. Finally, the program will also highlight the political leverage of self-transformation by means of these techniques.
Research team within HES-SO:
, Perriard Anne
Partenaires académiques: HETS-GE - CERES
Durée du projet:
01.10.2018 - 28.03.2019
Montant global du projet: 10'042 CHF