La production circulaire d'un concept: le "Geschlecht" (lignage). Contribution à l'approche critique de la "Begriffsgeschichte"

Abstract : The "Geschlecht" is the German word for "lineage". It represents on one side a really medieval term ("geslecht"), which means 'origin', 'original background', and which turns from the 14th century onwards to a crucial discursive issue for the reproduction of lay aristocracy's power. The "Geschlecht" is furthermore a concept commonly used by medievalists, who use it either on a non specific way, to evoke a dynastical form of kinship (the term gives thus some local colour to the argumentation, as the word itself is medieval), or as a theoretical concept to signify an organisation form resulting from a "lineage mutation" around the 11th century, as postulated by Karl Schmid and Georges Duby. Finally, the "lineage" is an anthropological concept which designate an unilinear, mainly patrilinear form (hence the concept "patrilineage" which occurs sometimes) among the kinship taxonomy, which itself results essentially from the recycling of historical but obsolete terms. The articulation of these three uses, with very different issues but which inevitably meet and intersect because the historians work on written documents and had to open to anthropology from the 1960' onwards, resents a remarkable example of the aporia which can derive from neglecting the conditions of production of concepts. After having shortly presented these three modes of using the word ('indigenous' use, historian appropriation, anthropological classification), one shows how the 'salvage' intersection of these three conceptual levels in the historian language results in historical nonsenses (e.g. the lineage mutation) but also that a specific jamming source is to find in a dimension that R. Koselleck's "Begriffsgeschichte", essentially textualist, systematically neglects: the material production of sense, especially by the way of writing and archiving.
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Joseph Morsel, Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne. La production circulaire d'un concept: le "Geschlecht" (lignage). Contribution à l'approche critique de la "Begriffsgeschichte". 2011. ⟨halshs-01390124⟩

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