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The Geneaological Imperative

Vincent de Gaujelac

“Individuals are the product of a history of which they seek to become the subject.” This enunciation raises a certain number of theoretical issues, more particularly with regard to the nature of its underlying historical determinism: what history are we talking about? What does it mean to be “the product of a history”? What is the basis of this law of production and reproduction? What is the driving force behind this quest for the subject? By its very nature, genealogy encourages each individual to distance themself from the family magma through a dual principle of identification and differentiation. Working with a genealogical tree allows one to understand the extent to which history is an active force and to become aware of the impasses and contradictions that may lead some people to be unwilling to act as transmitters.Résumé anglais.