Naplouse, le savon et la ville. Patrimone familial, travail ouvrier et mémoire au quotidien

Abstract : «Who makes soap today in Nablus, and how? ». This is the inaugural question of this study, which is an ethnographic approach of one of the last soap-factories in Nablus, the Tuqan factory. This approach through work and daily life first allows me to tackle issues related to Nablus society without directly focusing on political topics or the Israeli occupation. By considering the soap-factory as a “social world”, I question the constitution of heritage (turâth) from the point of view of local practices. For soap factory owners, it is a familial heritage, symbol of an ancient urban belonging and deemed to deserve being preserved as such. What is materially and symbolically at stake in the issue of “preserving”, or “protecting” the soap-factory? To answer this question, I studied the meaning that the Nabulsi give to their soap heritage – a heritage that no social authority has yet really shaped. Heritage at the Tûqân soap factory can also be considered from the point of view of sociability practices, through the observation of a daily meeting of notables at the director's desk. For soap factory workers, the heritage is a know-how passed down through generations, and a profession which is slowly dying. Finally, by studying the processes of “succession” at the head of the soap factory, I address another dimension of the relation to tradition: the transformations of values for the big families of Nabulsi origin, that still use Nablus as the local anchor of their trans-national economic power.
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Véronique Bontemps. Naplouse, le savon et la ville. Patrimone familial, travail ouvrier et mémoire au quotidien. Anthropologie sociale et ethnologie. Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I, 2009. Français. ⟨tel-00548032⟩

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