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For the film by Sonia Fernandes, see Benjamin Lemaire.

Problématique is a French term denoting a concept somewhat similar to the English Research question, but also including elements of definition and contextualization. The term is sometimes used by scholars in the Anglo-Saxon tradition who wish to emphasize the somewhat different approach taken by scholars in the French and other Continental European intellectual traditions. In German, the term Problemstellung is used.


Problématique has been defined as "the art of formulating a problem" and as "the presentation the various aspects of a problem." It is typically one of the introductory sections at the beginning of a university assignment.


The assumption behind the problématique is that a question or problem needs analysis before it can be answered properly, because any question or problem tends to be more complex than might at first be thought.

Problematization involves making the implicit explicit. This may mean no more than the identification and application of appropriate technical terminology. In some cases, according to some approaches, it means the identification of power-relations and interests that are involved.

In extreme cases, following the inspiration of Lévi-Strauss who wrote "the scholar is not he who gives the right answers, but he who asks the right questions," the problématique may consist of breaking down an original question into a number of individual questions and then organizing those new questions into a hierarchy.



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