Healthy lives: technologies, policies and experiences

Round Table


The contribution of health and medical sociology to health care and health policies


Wednesday 29th June 2016 13.00 – 14.30

UniMail building, room MR080


As illustrated by the very existence of ESHMS, health and medical sociology is a dynamic field of social science research in Europe. Empirical studies document the contrasted experiences of health and illness in the population (health inequalities, social construction of illness), the changing relationships between lay individuals and professionals (shared medical decision making, patient centred family focused care, health literacy), the social transformation of the medical profession, or the organizational challenges of health care systems against population aging and the increase of multiple chronic conditions. Theoretical analyses, offering critical perspectives on taken-for-granted developments in medicine and public health, further reinforce the field. The round table aims at discussing the applicationof this social science knowledge to the actual healthcare activities and to policies addressing health issues. What role does health and medical sociology play in a context of healthcare reforms, reformulation of health professionals' training, and reduction of healthcare costs? Does the contribution of health and medical sociology vary across countries (development of the discipline, its presence in the social sciences and in the medical institutions, funding of research,…)?



  • Prof. Piet Bracke, Department of Sociology, University of Ghent, Belgium
  • Dr. Paula Feder-Bubis, Department of Health Systems Management, BenGurion University of the Negev, Israel
  • Dr. Yves Jackson,Department of Community Medicine and Primary Care, Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland
  • Dr. Nathalie Roebbel, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization, Geneva


  • Prof. Claudine Burton-Jeangros, Department of Sociology, University of Geneva