Calls > Session 10

10 – Health Representations and Territorial Practices

Co-facilitators: Clélia GASQUET-BLANCHARD (EHESP), Virginie CHASLES (EVS) & Alain VAGUET (IDEES)

During this session, geographers, planners, sociologists, anthropologists, economists with an interest in health issues, as well as public health specialists, will examine the "major destinations" of care pathways as well as the more “backdoor routes” (Strauss, 1978). The objective of this aspect of territorial analysis is to show the multiplicity of health care representations and the territorial practices that emanate from them (Gasquet-Blanchard & Hoyez, 2015), as well as their ‘plasticity’ in terms of the social and institutional actors who appropriate them and implement them in the territory. It is also necessary to try and understand why some territories are sidelined as backwaters, or pathogenic spaces, whereas others are considered as favorable in terms of healthcare (Chasles, 2016). These representations are rooted in inherited socio-historical contexts. They often condition the associated territorial practices and assign their inhabitants to constructions of identity that may have an impact on their health status, their use of care, and their lifestyles in general. These perceived territories are also experienced and practiced (Herouard, 2007). How are care pathways expressed territorially, namely through the example of specific pathologies, access to medication and even health products? How can these practices be observed and how do they contribute to theorisation in the territorial sciences (Vaguet, 2012)? How can researchers, regardless of their experience (young as well as more experienced researchers), question the representation of the territory when they are dealing with health issues? What role can interdisciplinarity play (Bochaton et al., 2015)? How can researchers address this issue through the notion of territory (Vulbeau, 2013)?


Bochaton A., Gasquet-Blanchard C., Halfen S., 2015, « Santé et inscriptions territoriale des populations : apports et enjeux autour des notions de genre, territoire et santé » (éditorial), RFST, numéro thématique 1, pp.1-5.
Chasles V., 2016, « La mondialisation de la santé. L’exemple du "tourisme médical" », in Images économiques du Monde 2017, Paris, Armand Colin, pp. 56-58.
Gasquet-Blanchard C., Hoyez A-C., 2015, « Parcours et trajectoires dans le domaine de la santé. Quelques réflexions issues de l’analyse d’entretiens effectués auprès de femmes migrantes enceintes ou ayant récemment accouché dans la ville de Rennes », Travaux et Documents, n° 39, Rennes.
Herouard, F., 2007, « 8. Habiter et espace vécu : une approche transversale pour une géographie de l'habiter », in Habiter, le propre de l'humain, Paris, La Découverte, pp. 159-170.
Strauss A., 1978, Negotiations. Varieties, contexts, processes and social order, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.

Vaguet A., Lefebvre B., Petit M., 2012, « Lieux de soins et paysages thérapeutiques, du concept à la méthode », Bulletin de l’Association des géographes français, numéro spécial « Géographie de la santé », n° 2, pp. 214-223,
Vulbeau A., 2013, « Contrepoint – Territoire : espace vécu, espace politique », Informations sociales, 179(5), p. 69,

Expected types of paper

Communications may focus on the theorisation of the triptych of Representation, Territory and Health or on empirical research that emphasizes multidisciplinary research approaches and practices. Particularly encouraged are presentations on methodology and the results of studies by young researchers, as well as research based on multidisciplinary approaches. Priority will also be given to papers highlighting the methods used in this type of approach: what are the practicalities involved in studying and analysing health pathways and their links with the territory? How do territorial sciences differ from other disciplines in their definition of health pathways?

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