La Maison : Bridging Togolese and European ontologies and epistemologies

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Title: La Maison : Bridging Togolese and European ontologies and epistemologies
Author: Sinicato, Alice
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Humanistinen tiedekunta
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts
Helsingfors universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Kulttuurienvälisen vuorovaikutuksen maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in Intercultural Encounters
Magisterprogrammet i interkulturell växelverkan
Specialisation: ei opintosuuntaa
no specialization
ingen studieinriktning
Abstract: The present thesis consists of an ethnographic study of the encounter between an NGO and the local practices and epistemologies where it operates. Specifically, the thesis provides insights to what extent the NGO La Maison sans frontières takes into consideration the local practices, traditions, knowledge, and overall ecology of the community of Kuma Tsamé Totsi, in Togo. The study mainly focuses on three aspects that emerged during the research: time, hygiene, and upbringing practices, highlighting both incongruences and meeting points between the goals and operations of the NGO and the local ontologies and epistemologies. Given that the local community and the NGO enter in dialogue and develop new practices together, this thesis adopts the metaphor of ‘bridge’ for the NGO, indicating to what extent the local practices have agency on its operation and vice versa. Overall, the meeting of these different realities seems to be permeated by acceptance and understanding, creating a unique practical and organizational system. The encounter between La Maison sans frontières and this Togolese community seems to have created a middle ground between different cultures, where peoples together strive to bridge the gap in cultural diversity. The research study relies on qualitative methodology, comprising fieldwork and structured and semi-structured interviews. Fieldnotes in the form of written texts, photographs and videos have been taken during fieldwork and analysed through a qualitative data analysis software.
Subject: NGO
Intercultural Encounters

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