ethnological methods

We were curious to know how men and women born in an African capital, an Asian village or a Pacific island perceive the future of our planet. Indeed, the anthropologist P. DESCOLA emphasizes that "nature" does not mean the same thing in different cultures. We then borrowed ethnographic tools to begin to answer the question "How does the ecological awareness of people according to their living space and culture?".

By meeting children, we are meeting a culture. Indeed, culture precedes the arrival of the child, moral and social representations are already established. Then, it develops in close connection with its environment: through emotional ties, imitation or even prohibitions. This cultural environment will therefore be decisive in its representation of the world. Let's take the example of language. For example, Amazonian Indians have a very rich vocabulary to describe their environment, which allows them to find their way through the Amazonian forest. Indeed, "foreign words are keys to sneaking into the world of others "*.

By studying children's representations, we wish to identify their relationship with nature through cultural heritage by questioning the notion of respect, danger, fear, responsibility or empathy.

Studying and comparing cultures requires to be as harmonious as possible with the environment studied. We will be attentive to certain possible biases in observation and the resulting analysis: our simple presence, the ways of thinking linked to our own culture or the theories of Western psychology to understand childhood.

The experience of the meeting in this project will also allow us to reflect critically on our own culture and on the universe of meaning to which we belong.

This project is not an ethnographic study per se, as the time spent in contact with local populations is insufficient. However, by applying a systematic approach, through rigorously identical workshops, and by combining our thinking with the work of ethnographers specialized in the field, our analysis can serve as a starting point for further studies. 

*Les mots qui nous manquent, Yolande Zauberman et Paulina Mikol Spiechowicz