The anthropological contribution of Maurice Godelier's thought to the relationship between the Mental and the Material : some implications for Organization Studies
Chanlat, Jean-François (2014-06), The anthropological contribution of Maurice Godelier's thought to the relationship between the Mental and the Material : some implications for Organization Studies, 4th Organizations, Artifacts and Practices (OAP) Workshop, 2014-06, Rome, Italie
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference title4th Organizations, Artifacts and Practices (OAP) Workshop
MetadataShow full item record
Dauphine Recherches en Management [DRM]
Abstract (EN)As the workshop’s fourth session will concentrate on the subject of rules and regulations in organizations. In the context of global competition and the global crisis experienced by most countries all over the world, one of the question raised is how linking materiality with discourse, cultures and mentality. In this paper, we will present the contribution of the French anthropologist Maurice Godelier to enlighten the relationship between the Mental (l’idéel) and the Material (le matériel). Maurice Godelier is one of the leading figure in Anthropology. From the beginning of his carreer in anthropology (1966) and his classical work on the Baruyas (1982) to his last book on Lévi-Strauss (2013), he has developed a reflection on the the production of societies (1984, 2007). Influenced mainly by Marx (1973), the economical anthropology (Polanyi) and Lévi-Strauss, he has put the emphasis on the relationships between what he calls ‘l’idéel’ (The Mental) and le matériel (The Material). He defines five forms of material and shows how these forms are articulated with the world of ideas (representations, symbolic and imaginery spheres) according to societies. In these articulation, he gives to the social relationships (rapports sociaux) an important role into the social dynamics regulation. In his works, he underlines the limits of the marxist vision of society divided between an infrastructure (economical activities) and diverse superstructures (parenthood relationships, religious institutions,...) which would be built on this base and would disappear with her. He demonstrates that in all the social relationships between human beings and with Nature, even the most material relationships, it exists mental components which are not the reflection of these relationships but a part of their internal framework. After a presentation of his key ideas, we will show how Godelier's anthropological reflections are relevant to organization studies and management research, notably on these issues of rules, regulations and materiality. As some articles show anthropology can be a good source of inspiration for organization studies (Luthans and Morey, 1987, 2013), this presentation want to give new elements coming notably from French anthropology which was (Chanlat, forthcoming)) and is always an important source of reflections, often ignored by the Anglo-Saxon mainstream.
Subjects / KeywordsGodelier, Maurice (1934-....); Idéel; Matériel; Relations humaines; Anthropologie économique; Mental; Material; Rules; Regulation; Materiality; Social dynamics regulation; Social relationships; Anthropology
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