A police station, a alcoholism rehab centre, a centre for the disabled, a shelter for homeless people, a maternity ward... In these places, registers are kept - endless records of facts, ephemeral fragments and traces that have no other horizon than that of the closest future. Yet these are full of informations and observations that describe the daily routines as well as the cases of emergency, the tensions and doubts, the points of resistance of those that are taken into care. From these fragments, Jean-François Laé brings out a surprising and fascinating tale of confrontation and solicitude. His thoughtful reading of his source material allows him to construct an in depth analysis of the workings of care and community services.
Jean-François Laé is a professor of sociology at the university of Paris VIII. He has published a number of books including L’instance de la plainte (Descartes et Cie, 1996), Fracture sociale, with Arlette Farge (Desclée de Brouwer, 2000), L’ogre du jugement (Stock, 2001), Lettres perdues. Écriture, amour et solitude, with Philippe Artières (Hachette Littératures, 2003).
En arrachant à l’oubli ces écrits ordinaires, Jean-François Laé fait surgir une réalité surprenante d’affrontements et de sollicitude mêlés. Sa lecture attentive et sensible lui permet d’analyser au plus près ce qui se passe dans ces relations de services aux personnes.