• Cultural

Conférence : La mort en montagne, une approche sociologique

DEATH IN THE MOUNTAIN, A sociological approach

Cultural Conférence : La mort en montagne, une approche sociologique Chamonix-Mont-Blanc


On Tuesday 12 December 2023 from 20:00:00 in 21:30:00
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (74400)

ENSM and La Petite Université are pleased to invite you to the "DEATH IN THE MOUNTAINS, A Sociological Approach" evening on Tuesday December 12 at 8pm in the ENSA amphitheatre.
"Death can be approached in many different ways: psychological, demographic, medical, statistical, poetic, artistic, philosophical... In this conference, we take a sociological approach to this mysterious, difficult and fascinating subject, because we believe that the way societies conceive of death is a particularly relevant way of understanding who they are, their values, their cultures and their relationship to life. Indeed, the way in which we perceive death is not only a matter of intimate logic, but also of historically and geographically situated social logic. It is with this in mind that we now turn to the specific question of death in the mountains.

In the Chamonix valley, familiarity with this form of violent death is obvious, and we can legitimately wonder how the people of Chamonix experience it. The questions are manifold: do they accept this type of death all the better for being used to it? What impact does this familiarity with death in the mountains have on their perception of it? Is a common representation, conveyed both by the general public and sometimes by mountaineers themselves, which consists of presenting this death as a beautiful, heroic one, imbued with the positivity of passion and the positive values associated with the high mountains (beauty, grandeur, freedom, etc.), accurate? Is it really shared by those who experience these tragedies at close quarters?
Based on a socio-historical analysis of the spirit of mountaineering and emerging contemporary ethics, we'll look at how representations of death in the mountains and mountain practices interact and evolve together. In particular, we'll look at the growing polarization of ethics we're witnessing today, with, on the one hand, the tightening of safety standards in small-scale mountaineering and the radicalization of the safety ideal, supported by a professional discourse committed to the preservation of the population, and, on the other, the equally radical defense of an ethic of mountaineering excellence inherited from the 19th century, which necessarily implies accepting the possibility of death, and even, for some, claiming it.
More generally, we'll be looking at how individuals relate to death and risk in contemporary Western societies, and what is at stake in the debate between freedom and safety, which is still very active in the mountain community.


Juliette Craplet, Sociologist and President of La Petite Université.
Juliette will present the results of a two-year study on the subject as part of her master's degree in sociology, in which she took a specific interest in the discourse of professionals - high-mountain guides, first-aiders and instructors - for whom fatal accidents and the quest to avoid them are at the heart of both their work and their amateur practices.

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    Free of charge.


    Languages spoken : French


    Tuesday 12 December 2023 between 8 pm and 9.30 pm.


    Amphithéâtre ENSA 35 route du Bouchet BP24 74400 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc
    Information update on 18/11/2023 by Office de Tourisme de la Vallée de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc