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How can one be a “montagnard” ? Social and political expressions of modern imaginaries of territoriality

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Published in Kakalis, Ch. & Goetsch, E. Mountains, mobilities, and movement. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 2017, p. 129-154
Abstract Historically, academic notions of culture and identity have changed, with naturalistic and ecological perspectives yielding progressively to perspectives in the 20th century emphasizing intersubjectivity and political and social processes in the construction of collectives identities. But this renewal of academic paradigms should not blind us to the fact that corresponding conceptions have been simultaneously active within modern societies as imaginary figures, shaping social groupings and social interactions. This paper analyzes the historical emergence of a set of conceptions about people living in mountains and the invention of a corresponding human type - the montagnard in French-speaking literature, and its various equivalents in English (“mountaineer”, “mountain man” or “mountain people”) and other European languages (such as Bergbauer in German) - which has been invoked in various social and political contexts, with particular understandings of collective territorialities. Though referring to phenomena over the past three centuries, the article focuses mainly on contemporary political issues related to mountain identities.
Keywords Social and Collective IdentitiesTerritorialityMountain Regions and PopulationsPolitical EcologyEpistemic Community
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DEBARBIEUX, Bernard. How can one be a “montagnard” ? Social and political expressions of modern imaginaries of territoriality. In: Kakalis, Ch. & Goetsch, E. (Ed.). Mountains, mobilities, and movement. London : Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. p. 129-154. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:101328

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Deposited on : 2018-01-12

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