FOGEL Frédérique

Regional fields

France, Europe, Maghreb, Mashriq, Egypt, Nubia

Thematic fields

kinship, migration, gender


social link, ethnographic relationship, mobility, memory, genealogy, undocumented immigrants, contracted research, “Arab marriage”, brother-sister relationship, Islam, pilgrimage

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Making bread, Nubia, 1989
(photo F. Fogel)

Frédérique Fogel is a kinship specialist. After her first studies in Egypt on community identities (social and ritual forms of popular Islam, pilgrimage mural paintings), she began long-term fieldwork in Nubia. She identified Nubian society as a “migrant society” and detailed a general problem of correlations between the migratory process and the practices and representations of kinship.

Transferring this theme to the suburbs of Paris, alongside first-generation African migrants and their descendants, she studied strategies for structuring family links and creating kinship according to migratory route, status, age, gender and generation. She now studies this same question in relation to undocumented immigrants in Paris, giving special attention to legal constraints and socio-political injunctions.

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Wedding on the men’s side, Nubia, 1989
(photo F. Fogel)

Her contribution to the theoretical question of “Arab marriage” is based on a “point of view” methodology that questions the facts of kinship from the perspective of female practices and conceptions of interpersonal links. She has thus shown the relevance of the shift from the “brother-brother” pair – a focal point of the segmentary system – to the “bother-sister” pair, as a central determinant of Arab kinship. More broadly, she examines kinship through social gender relationships.

In May 2011, with Azita Bathaïe (a PhD student at the LESC), she founded, and now directs, the “Gender, Kinship, Migration” research seminar, which examines these three interconnected themes and provides an opportunity for exchanges on research projects, field experiences, methodologies, practices and theories. It is open to students at the Masters level and above.

Involved in the enforcement field since 1995, she has acted as a sociological advisor to prevention tutors. She is pursuing research on the links between “academic research” and “applied research”, and responds to ad hoc requests for information and training in the social sector. She is a member of the Réseau Éducation Sans Frontières (Education Without Borders Network).

Recent publications

  • 2011, book review of: Françoise Lestage, Les Indiens mixtèques dans les Californies contemporaines. Migrations et identités collectives (Paris, PUF, Ethnologies, 2009), Journal de la Société des américanistes, 97 (2): 447–450.
  • 2010, Au cœur de l’anthropologie avec de grandes figures, book review: François Héran, Figures de la parenté. Une histoire critique de la raison structurale (Paris, PUF, 2009), Archives européennes de sociologie, LI (2): 496–501.
  • 2009 eds (with I. Rivoal), La relation ethnographique, terrains et textes. Mélanges offerts à Raymond Jamous [special issue], Ateliers du LESC, 33 http://ateliers.revues.org/8162.
  • 2009 (with I. Rivoal), Introduction, Ateliers du LESC, 33 http://ateliers.revues.org/8192 [special issue: F. Fogel and I. Rivoal (éd.), La relation ethnographique, terrains et textes. Mélanges offerts à Raymond Jamous].
  • 2009, L’ethnologue et l’assignation, sur le terrain de la parenté, Ateliers du LESC, 33 http://ateliers.revues.org/8213 [special issue: F. Fogel and I. Rivoal (éd.), La relation ethnographique, terrains et textes. Mélanges offerts à Raymond Jamous].


Publications available at the Éric-de-Dampierre library


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Mis à jour le 16 January 2014

Directeur de recherche, CNRS
[Research Professor CNRS]