Conférence internationale organisée par le Cermes3 : “In and Out of the Workplace: The Framing of Health Issues”

Les 21 et 22 mai prochain, à l’Université Paris Descartes, le Cermes3 Paris (Centre de recherche médecine, sciences, santé, santé mentale, sociétéorganise une conférence internationale intitulée : ” In and Out of the Workplace: The Framing of Health Issues ” .

Les interventions se feront en anglais et en français.


Présentation de la conférence

The aim of the 2015 annual Cermes3 conference will be to shed new light on the transformations of occupational health in the past decades. Social scientists, together with trade-unionists, health practitioners and activists of various kinds, have long drawn attention on the changes in working conditions since the “post-Fordist turn” of the 1970s. Both the transformations of work per se (characterized by an increasing reliance on technology, the reorganization of production processes, the growth of the tertiary sector…) and the rise of new styles of management, all in an increasingly globalized word, have been explored at great length. The main purpose of our conference will be to complement these efforts by shifting attention towards another factor of transformation (external to occupational changes, this time), namely the rise of environmental health in the industrialized world, in the past fifty years or so. Coming of age at a time when the management of risk was becoming the lynchpin of public health in general, this new field of expertise proved a testing ground for new experimental and statistical approaches as much as regulatory policies.

The history of asbestos and many other risk factors have highlighted the differences in the framing of health issues depending on whether the population under consideration has been exposed to the suspected risk factor in or out of the workplace… even when the same kind of medical and scientific knowledge has been brought to bear on both cases/situations. Indeed, a great deal of scientific practices and theories that had developed in the context of occupational medicine were later reused to investigate the health of human populations in a wide array of circumstances. Conversely, in many cases, advances in environmental health also made their way into the work of occupational physicians and scientists. By exploring a wide range of cases and situations, we intend to map out the complex set of interactions that developed between the two fields under consideration, ranging from mutual ignorance, to near-symbiosis, through complicated and sometimes tensed exchanges.

Public problems are interconnected in so many ways that the visibility given to a health scare often translates into the (relative) invisibilization of one another. Indeed, more research is still needed to document in details how the growing concerns regarding the health of “consumers” and “local communities” impacted on the public interest for “workers'” conditions.

In order to take into consideration the already mentioned transformations of labour, we have invited presentations based on the investigation of different kinds of health problems, encompassing both conditions linked to the exposition to toxic agents (including nuclear radiations), as well as the so- called “psychosocial issues” (including addictions) and the somehow related notion of “resilience to stress”.

The conference will provide us with an opportunity to discuss approaches from a wide range of disciplines, from history, to anthropology, to sociology and political science… Three kinds of different, yet partially connected, questions will be of special interest to us: the identification and assessment of risk factors; differences and similarities in regard to health regulation between the fields of occupational and environmental health; and, more broadly, the politics of health problems arising in and/or out of the workplace.


Pour consulter le programme détaillé (PDF)  des deux jours de la conférence, veuillez cliquer ici.

Info relayée par le DIM Gestes, le 27 Avril 2015.

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