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  • Writer's picturegabriellehalpern

RCJ Radio: "From inclusion to hybridisation!"

This column is presented by Gabrielle Halpern every Tuesday in the 12 o'clock news on Radio RCJ and offers a philosophical look at current events.

The term "inclusion" has become ubiquitous, but who knows that this common noun is derived from the Latin inclusio, which meant "imprisonment"[1]? It referred to the reclusion of the hermit or the monk... Nowadays, when we talk about inclusion, we mean integration.

But when a child is born into a family, is it really inclusion, insertion or integration we are talking about? No. And for good reason - when a child is born, it changes everything - the balance of power, the identities of each person and the interactions between the parties involved. There is no integration, insertion or inclusion... There is hybridisation[2]! In other words, there is an encounter, which leads everyone to step outside themselves. If we take the image of the Centaur - a figure of hybridisation par excellence - this is precisely what happened. The human and the horse had to take a step to the side to create this unifying third figure that is the centaur. Yes, there is only an encounter when there is a metamorphosis of all the parts.

When it comes to people with disabilities, whether physical or mental, it would be terrible to be content with simply including them, as if they had to be content with the place we would like to leave them. With them taking on all the effort of adaptation, as long as this doesn't change anything in our practices[3]. We need to understand that the real challenge is our capacity to accept to take a sideways step and to break out of our good old boxes. In the name of the sacrosanct 'corporate culture', we create clones because we can't stand the anguish caused by what is different from us. The other person's disability, because it is outside the norm, because it "transgresses" the absurd box that we have forged for ourselves, awakens this anxiety of the unknown. Let's stop being afraid and hybridise; and in so doing, let's transform our managerial practices, our organisations, our jobs, our recruitment, our professional relations and our innovations[4]!

Instead of talking about an inclusive society, we should rather talk about a hybrid society, since it is not only a question of including all those who are different, physically and mentally, but of creating the conditions for an encounter that allows for mutual metamorphosis. New technologies are not what will enhance human beings, but their ability to accept hybridisation through contact with others will.


[2] Gabrielle Halpern, "Tous centaures! Eloge de l'hybridation", Le Pommier, 2020

[3] Gabrielle Halpern, "Penser l'hospitalité - L'artisan hôtelier et la Philosophe", co-written with Cyril Aouizerate, Editions de l'Aube, 2022.

[4] Gabrielle Halpern, "Philosopher et cuisiner : un mélange exquis - Le Chef et la Philosophe", co-written with Guillaume Gomez, Editions de l'Aube, 2022.


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