Dominique Vidal

Dominique Vidal is Professor of Sociology at Paris 7- Denis Diderot University (Social sciences research and teaching department).

He has conducted studies in Brazil (Recife, Rio de Janerio), South Africa (Johannesburg) and Mozambique (Maputo) and is also involved in a comparative sociology study around the question of the democratic phenomenon.

The common denominator in this research is the consideration that we cannot simply be happy to consider that countries with recent democratic regimes will be democracies in the future in order to highlight their shortcomings. They are used instead to question the practical face of democracy in societies which have experienced long-term authoritarianism and where social relations have a strong hierarchical component. The study of ordinary social relationships is considered as a favoured way to show this practical face of democracy. This perspective which does not ignore the role of institutions and different categories of actors, seeks to identify the resonance of politics in social life, on the subject of, among other things, the different meanings of the concept of respect in poor people in Recife, the relationship to paternalism and employment law for domestic workers in Rio de Janeiro, or the xenophobic experience of black South Africans with regards migrants from Mozambique in Johannesburg.

He is a member of the editorial committees for the journals Cultures&Conflits, Problèmes d’Amérique latine and Cahiers des Amériques latines.

Research in progress

The migrants from Mozambique in Johannesburg, as part of the program “Migration, transit and urban change in three southern African cities: Johannesburg, Lubumbashi, Maputo” by the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and the department of Forced Migration Studies Program of the University of the Witwatersrand.

Issues of justice and democracy through the relationship between institutional service and normal sociability. This research is interested in the transposition of models intended to promote or improve democracy, with individualist and collective conventions as well as the tensions arising out of the labyrinth of diverse conceptions of justice and injustice. It gives a central place to the measurements, systems and actors who aim for compensation for the injustices of the past, notably in the case of societies that maintain a close and difficult link with the idea of race (affirmative action, memorial project).

Drafting of a work on the sociology of Brazil. This summary work intends to achieve a representation and sociological interpretation of modern-day Brazil. In particular it aims to highlight the social and political dynamics produced by the different forms of arrangements for social stratification, ethnicity and gender identities.

Main publications

See french version of this page.