• Research topics

Research topics

As it is an art situated at the crossroad of many sciences such as biomedical and social sciences, within history and society, medicine naturally requires cross-disciplinary research. Modern medical evolutions have created the need of a new alliance between medicine and humanities, along the already existing alliance between medicine and sciences. Tensions between the art of treating and life sciences, between finding a cure and the promotion of health, between the person and the population, are not relatively new and thus makes medicine so specific, however they are exacerbated by the knowledge and practice transformations based on epidemiology and evidence-based medicine, by the evolution of political requests, economical logics and social needs, and finally by the new anthropological concepts of disease, health and care. In order to address the multiple norms and logics which traverse it, medicine needs to collaborate with History, Social Sciences, Philosophy, Epistemology, Ethics, as well as studies on art, Literature, Psychoanalysis and Law.


In order to enhance and increase practices and health policies, the programme does not focus the on « personalised Medicine », but focuses on modern aspects of the Person in Medicine. It aims at studying the modern subjectivation of patients, of their relatives and of medical professionals, more precisely the way these people are experiencing illness and medicine, see themselves, act and build their personal and social identities. The programme makes the following assumption: Subjectivation modes of patients and their relatives can only be analysed and understood in parallel with the subjectivation modes of medical professionals as they are closely associated with eachother. In order to understand the subjectivation modes of patients and their relatives, the Programme focuses on a modern anthropological aspect “Experiencing Chronic illness” (before birth, through easy access to personal biological & medical information, through prevention, in the management of chronic illness and following treatment, etc.). In order to address the subjectivation modes of medical professionals, a research topic of the programme will study History and News of their training – by questioning the place and role they have, in France and in the rest of world, SSH and Medical Humanities.


As regards the Methodology, the alliance Medicine/Humanities implies firstly the promotion of SSH researches in medicine, considered as object, and secondly, collaborative research implying SSH and biomedical sciences. Global analysis as well as local analysis conducted in close relationship with actors and practices are both needed. The programme multi-disciplinarity is based on a scientific committed stance aimed at renewing epistemological and ethical analysis in Medicine, by addressing them from two angles: on one hand Social sciences research, on the other hand innovative research conducted thanks to collaborations between Researchers in SSH and Researchers in Medicine.


Why multi & cross disciplinary researches on the Person in Medicine?

In order to improve the health practices and policies, the programme “The Person in Medicine” proposes research on contemporary figures of the person in medicine.  The programme studies the modern subjectivation of patients, their relatives and medical professionals, more precisely the ways these patients experience illness and Medicine, see themselves, act, and build their social and personal identities. The goal is to understand how a sick person experiences illness in Medicine and in the society, how this person pictures herself/himself as a psychic, social, ethical and political actor. In the same way the programme aims at studying the ways health professionals are trained, organise themselves, work and make decisions – what helps to understand how a sick person his/her relatives are understood and addressed.
The notion of subjectivation allows a dynamic description of patients and medical professionals’ lives, understood as subjects connected with relationships, organisations and institutions. By breaking with the conceptions of subjectivity as pure psychical interiority or as decision-making capacity, this notion allows us to consider subjectivity as an existential strategy or governance. It therefore emphasizes the ways patients, their relatives and medical professionals produce new subjectivities based on practices, speeches and by transforming them.