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Quelles temporalités travaillent les entretiens biographiques rétrospectifs ?

Abstract : Open and indepth biographical interviews are material which can take into account the temporalities of individual trajectories. But that contribution answers to epistemological, theoretical and methodological conditions very different from those that govern the use of closed questionnaires and precoded chronological agendas. Discursive material, as such interviews, is highly specific. The interviewee is the principal source of information selection, the recounted episodes are presented from a subjective point of view, and the recounted events are interpreted. Thus the temporality of biographical accounts cannot be disassociated from the narrative process. On the other hand, the intrigue construction of one’s personal history presupposes the production of a temporal framework. The latter is at the same time a construction of coherence and a construction of perspective concerning the account of a trajectory. It is intelligible at the crossing points of chronological chains of events (the articulation of sequences coherently constructed) and temporal resolutions (exits from sequences that are part of the perspective). This grammar is tested against a corpus of accounts of entering the labor market made by youths with few academic qualifications. It is schematized as four temporal forms called destiny or vocation, repetition or fatality, opportunities or projects, rupture or mourning. Each of these four forms covers various trajectories from the point of view of social status and position which are worked over, compared, interpreted during the interview. Finally, by showing how narrative production necessarily implies the construction of a temporal form, this proposed procedure calls for a plurality of sociological or scientific categorizations of biographical time adapted to the characteristics of the empirical material analyzed.
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Didier Demazière. Quelles temporalités travaillent les entretiens biographiques rétrospectifs ?. Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique / Bulletin of Sociological Methodology, SAGE Publications, 2007, pp.5 - 27. ⟨hal-03415926⟩



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