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"La forêt comme un théâtre ou les conditions d'une mise en scène réussie"

Abstract : The forest plays a major social role in France : it is a place where townspeople searching for nature enjoy to relax or to ramble, and it is a source of emotions and of dreams for the grown ups “not so grown up”. It is a true cultural and symbolical heritage. In this respect, the public manager is in charge of more than a simple natural resource to be developed and protected. He is also the stage director of forest theaters to which visitors willingly come to attend the performance of nature. Spinning the theatrical metaphor all along this thesis, not only did we endeavor to understand the mechanisms of the public forest mises en scène but also what is at stake.

This narrative tool was borrowed to the interactionist sociologists and was used for the study of two forest areas : the national forests of La Grande Chartreuse in Isère and that of Le Val Suzon in Côte d'Or. We tried to identify the actors, the spectators and the stage directors of these forest theaters. Our work required interdisciplinary approaches in so far as we focused on the deciphering of scenarios writing and interpretation rules, on the role distribution between actors and walk-ons and on the definition of the unities of place, time and action. We lead ethnographic investigations, relied on multiple-choice questionnaires and we went through media corpuses. Several scientific and artistic disciplines shed light on our study : geography, history, sociology, anthropology, scenography.

The analysis of the data at hand shows that the forest is not a constituted sociological object, that is to say not underlined by structured theories or opinions. Within the forest set, each visitor can imagine and rehearse his or her own plays. Our relationship to the forest is linked to the psychoaffective sphere ; it is experienced rather than thought of. Our individual creeds are inherited from the past with universally shared archetypes and they echo one another.

Our reflection is aimed at highlighting the conditions of a successful, appreciated and acknowledged mise en scène of the public forests. Therefore, this thesis relies on a constructive approach leading to practical and useful recommendations and suggestions both meant for the Office National des Forêts which financed and ordered this research and for all actors of the French forest.
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Contributor : Benoit Boutefeu <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - 2:45:32 PM
Last modification on : Friday, October 23, 2020 - 4:51:01 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 10:12:10 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-00174838, version 1


Benoit Boutefeu. "La forêt comme un théâtre ou les conditions d'une mise en scène réussie". Géographie. Ecole normale supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines - ENS-LSH Lyon, 2007. Français. ⟨tel-00174838⟩



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