Claudine Burton-Jeangros

Curriculum Vitae

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I am conducting research in sociology of health and illness in two distinct but interrelated areas. On the one hand I developed projects on how meanings associated to health and illness have been reshaped by the idea of risk, a now dominant category in prevention messages and medical practices and in society in general. Contrasted understandings of risk can either increase demands towards healthcare systems and reinforce medicalization, or generate social mobilization and resistance towards health institutions. I have been involved in studies on attitudes and practices towards risks in a range of issues, such as HIV/AIDS and re-emerging infectious diseases, immunization, cancer and prenatal screening, as well as personalized medicine.

Second, I have been interested in the distribution of health across the population, with analyses of health inequalities along a number of socio-economic determinants. These analyses have included a temporal perspective with research on health trajectories conducted in the context of the NCCR LIVES (Overcoming vulnerability – a lifecourse perspective). A mixed methods project in Geneva is currently assessing the consequences of regularization on undocumented migrants' health trajectories and living conditions (Projet Parchemins). A study with Belgian colleagues analyses cancer screening inequalities over time across Switzerland, Belgium and other European countries (PREVENT project).

These two distinct fields of research converge in looking at the actual experiences of health, as they are shaped by social determinants, and by the meanings associated with these experiences, while taking into consideration how ideas about risk affect social expectations towards health. In these projects, I have combined quantitative and qualitative research, convinced that they complement each other in the understanding of the complex social mechanisms that contribute to shape health in contemporary societies.

Along these different projects, I am particularly interested in current developments regarding research ethics and wish to feed the social science thinking in that domain, as well as to accompany and form future generations of researchers along current societal expectations towards research.


Curriculum Vitae

Born on June 5th 1965, in la Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland)                                                  



2001                PhD in sociology, University of Geneva, Switzerland       

1996                Master in sociology, University of Geneva, Switzerland  

1994                Master of Sciences in Health Promotion and Health Education, University of Cardiff
                         College of Medicine, United Kingdom (fellowship of the Swiss National Science Fondation)

1988                Bachelor in sociology, University of Geneva, Switzerland


Professional appointments

2017-              Full professor, Department of sociology, Geneva School of Social Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland

2007-17         Associate professor, Department of sociology, Geneva School of Social Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland
                        (50% between 2007 and 2013, 100% since 2014)

2008-09       Invited professor, Faculty of social and political sciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

2002-07        “Maître-assistante” (80%), Department of sociology, University of Geneva, Switzerland

1999-02        Research assistant (Swiss National Science Foundation), Department of sociology, University of Geneva, Switzerland

1993-99         Teaching assistant (Prof. Jean Kellerhals), Department of sociology, University of Geneva, Switzerland

1992               Consultant, World Health Organisation (WHO), Global programme on AIDS, Evaluation unit, Geneva

1991                Visiting scholar, Center for Health Promotion, Research and Development, School of Public Health, University of Texas at Houston, United States

1988-90        Researcher, Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Lausanne, Switzerland



Keywords: social inequalities in health, health trajectories, interpretations of risks,


Grants (since 2014)

As main applicant or co-applicant

Health in vulnerable groups: Patterns of resources (2019-2023), co-applicant with Daniela Jopp (University of Lausanne), funded by the NCCR LIVES, Swiss National Science Foundation.

Parchemins: a prospective study about the impact of regularization on undocumented migrants’ health and well-being, co-applicant with Yves Jackson (main applicant, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva) (2017-2023), funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Etude sur les attentes concernant les documents d’information et de consentement destinés à la recherche sur les êtres humains, (may-october 2019), main applicant funded by the Geneva University Hospitals.

Social inequalities in cancer prevention care and fundamental social causes: a comparative study of innovative technologies and (in)effective policies, co-applicant with Piet Bracke (Ghent University, Belgium) and Stéphane Cullati (University of Geneva), (2018-2022) funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and FWO Research Foundation - Flanders

Forums citoyens autour de l’oncologie de précision. Entre espoirs et craintes, main applicant (2018-2020), with Samia Hurst, Pierre Chappuis & Petros Tsantoulis (HUG), funded by Foundation Leenaards, Lausanne

Etude sur l’évaluation des formulaires de consentement dans le cadre de la Commission cantonale d’éthique de la recherche (juin-septembre 2017), funded by the Geneva University Hospitals.

Determinants of vaccine hesitancy and under-immunization with childhood and Human Papilloma Virus vaccines in Switzerland, co-applicant with Philip Tarr (main applicant, Faculty of Medicine, University of Basel) (2017-2020), funded by PNR74 Swiss National Science Foundation

IOMIS: The impact of organised mammography screening programmes on demographic and socioeconomic inequalities in mammography attendance: a nationwide study in Switzerland 1992-2012”, Health Services Research in Oncology and Cancer Care Programme (2016-2017), co-applicant, mains applicant: Stéphane Cullati, funded by Swiss Cancer Research.

LIFETRAIL: Life course influences on health trajectories at older age: longitudinal analyses using retrospective data (2016-2019) co-applicant, main applicant: Stéphane Cullati, funded by the NCCR LIVES, Swiss National Science Foundation.

Health inequalities in India and Switzerland: Measurement and distribution of well-being and vulnerability, co-applicant with Achin Chakraborty (Institute for Development Studies, Kolkata) (August 2015-July 2017) funded by the Indo-Swiss Joint Research Programme in the Social Sciences, Seed Money Grants (SMG)

Organizing, Communicating, and Costing in Risk Governance: Learning Lessons from the H1N1 Pandemic, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, co-applicant with Mathilde Bourrier (main applicant, Department of Sociology, University of Geneva) (2013-2016)

Fear of crime among the elderly in Geneva, funded by Geneva police department, main applicant (January-May 2014)

Socio-demographic and socioeconomic inequalities in cancer screening, Switzerland 1992-2012: trend analyses based on the Swiss Health Survey, funded by the Swiss League Cancer, co-applicant (main applicant: Dr. Idris Guessous HUG) (2013-2014)

Health trajectories and life transitions. A life-course approach to health vulnerability, National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) ‘Overcoming vulnerability: life course perspectives’, funded by Swiss National Foundation for Scientific Research (2011-2015).