"Healthy lives: technologies, policies and experiences": ESHMS 16th biennal congress in Geneva

"Healthy lives: technologies, policies and experiences": ESHMS 16th biennal congress in Geneva

The 16th congress of the European Society for Health and Medical Sociology (ESHMS) will take place on June 27-29, 2016 at the University of Geneva. It is co-organised by a local team including three members of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES. The call for pre-organised sessions ends on November 20, 2015, whereas the call for abstracts deadline is set on December 20, 2015.

Call for papers

In European societies, the imperative of good health keeps expanding. Health literacy, developments in personalized medicine, health and illness self-monitoring through mobile information and communication technologies, shared medical decision making, rising individualization of risks in health insurances, all support the normative importance of leading healthy lives.

In daily life and in encounters with healthcare institutions, individuals are expected to manage their own health through the adoption of healthy behaviours and/or endorsement of patient-centred and family focused care. Healthism, self-surveillance and individual regulation affect the experience of healthy and ill individuals, their relationships with healthcare professionals, but also public health policies and the monitoring of population health.

At the same time, different social trends challenge this dominant discourse. Unfavourable conditions in childhood, socioeconomic inequalities, instability of family ties, increasing requirements in job performance, inequalities in access to health care and growing difficulties associated with ageing limit the ability to lead healthy lives.

Furthermore, some individuals deliberately challenge the imperative for health and youth, by refusing medical treatments or disease screening, by adopting risky behaviours, or by criticizing health-sustaining technologies and strategies. The conference aims to address the dominant norm of leading healthy lives (technologies, policies and experiences) and to considerthe different resources used to reach ‘health’.

Papers addressing theoretical issues or presenting empirical research, both qualitative and quantitative, are welcomed. In addition to this central focus, abstracts in the main domains of health and medical sociology are welcomed. Propositions for sessions are also welcomed.  

Organisation of sessions

Sessions can take either the form of a pre-organised symposium or an open session. A typical session lasts 90 min and includes 3 to 4 papers, there can also be series of sessions on the same themes. Pre-organised sessions and papers can cover topics under any of the following issues:

  • Technologies and policies for healthy lives
  • Professional and lay experiences of the health imperative
  • Inequalities and social determinants of health
  • Risk behaviours
  • Gender and health
  • Vulnerabilities and health
  • Austerity and health
  • Health policy
  • Health services
  • Lifestyles
  • Subjective well-being and quality of life
  • Welfare states
  • Mental health
  • Health care and rehabilitation
  • Health promotion
  • Wellbeing at work
  • Life course perspective on health: trajectories and transitions

>> Deadline for pre-organized sessions: November 20, 2015
>> Deadline for abstracts: December 20, 2015
>> Contact: claudine.jeangros@unige.ch


HSHMS Executive committee
Local committee