Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Pleurer les morts, gueuler la mort : disposer des défunts "indigents"

Abstract : This research analyzes what happens to the deceased labeled as ‘paupers’ and managed through non-governmental organizations and public means in France. Where previous literature on the subject emphasized social categories such as homeless people and theories of sacrifice, this work puts forward conflicting public interests given to the dead labeled as ‘paupers’. This recearch draws mostly on ethnographic fieldwork with the Collectif Les Morts de la Rue, a parisian organization denouncing the life and death conditions of homeless people since 2001, and in charge of the funeral ceremony of any unclaimed body since 2003. The investigation shows how two groups of volunteers with two different primary interests developed over time. The first group is mainly concerned with political activism in favor of people living and dying on the streets. The second group focuses more on non-political rituals for all unclaimed bodies, regardless of their social status. The two groups coexist with mutual references to the dead and to humanity after death. Through rituals and public ceremonies using emotions, they create symbolic communities gathering both the living and dead. The strong emphasis of the first group on inequality and socio-economic structure is sometimes at odds with the more general emphasis of the second group on the universal bond between human beings, showing how shared references to death and humanity are not enough to cover diverging motivations inside the same organisation.
Document type :
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Hélène Saint-Gal Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 4:37:40 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 9:30:55 AM


  • HAL Id : tel-03652474, version 1



Lucas Guffanti. Pleurer les morts, gueuler la mort : disposer des défunts "indigents". Science politique. Institut d'études politiques de Paris - Sciences Po, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016IEPP0058⟩. ⟨tel-03652474⟩



Record views