Recherche

Socio Online

Online presentations of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers

Socio Online started during the first COVID-19 lockdown. It aims at providing a space for PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers to present and receive feedback on their work on progress, e.g. a thesis chapter, a draft of an article, a conceptual framework or a specific method, preliminary field or analysis results, or a PhD proposal (“sujet de thèse”).

Coordinated by: Vladimir Jolidon and Loïc Pignolo

 

PRESENTATION ABSTRACTS: October 2020 – June 2021

23 presentations took place in the 2nd edition of Socio Online, abstracts are posted below here


 

Les enjeux de la confiance dans les échanges économiques illégalisés : le cas du nettoyage domestique salarié irrégulier à Genève

Auteur : Loïc Pignolo, doctorant, Institut de recherches sociologiques, Université de Genève

Cette communication vise à restituer certains résultats préliminaires d’une recherche de doctorat en cours portant sur le marché illégal du nettoyage domestique à Genève. Il s’agit plus particulièrement, dans le cadre de cette présentation, d’aborder l’enjeu spécifique de la création de confiance entre acteur·trices de l’offre et de la demande, une question particulièrement épineuse en situation d’illégalité. En me basant sur des entretiens menés avec des employeur·euses ainsi que des travailleuses domestiques, je montre que la confiance provient essentiellement de l’intervention d’une tierce personne dans leur mise en relation. Il s’agit dans la majorité des cas étudiés d’une personne qui, employant déjà la travailleuse domestique, recommande cette dernière à un·e futur·e employeur·euse appartenant à son cercle d’interconnaissance proche (ami·es, famille, collègue ou voisin·es). La logique du bouche-à-oreille et de la recommandation émise par cette personne intermédiaire joue ainsi un rôle crucial dans la création de confiance, autant pour la travailleuse domestique que pour le ou la futur·e employeur·euse. Cette confiance n’est toutefois pas immuable et peut par exemple se fragiliser, voire se rompre en fonction d’évènements particuliers. Le cas spécifique des accusations de vol à l’égard des travailleuses est à ce titre exploré, tout en mettant en évidence les conflits d’interprétation – et en filigrane l’absence de règles claires – qui peuvent y être reliés.

 

 

 Femmes et bandes à Marseille : négociation des liens sociaux dans et depuis les territoires des quartiers populaires

Autrice : Alice Daquin, doctorante, Département d’Anthropologie et de Sociologie, Institut des Hautes Études Internationales et de Développement de Genève

Ce projet de thèse, inscrit dans le Gangs Project (soutenu par le Conseil Européen de la recherche) propose une analyse sociologique interactionnelle des liens entre femmes et bandes au sein des quartiers populaires stigmatisés de la métropole de Marseille. Face à une littérature dominée par une compréhension stéréotypée et essentialisante des femmes vis-à-vis des gangs, cette recherche propose de réinscrire l’agentivité de ces femmes au sein de contextes sociospatiaux et de relations sociales spécifiques. À la croisée de la socio-anthropologie urbaine, politique, et des études de genre, cette thèse prend ici pour objet le processus par lequel ces femmes négocient au quotidien un ensemble de liens économiques, affectifs, sécuritaires, communautaires, de voisinages, et politiques qui les lient aux membres des bandes locales du trafic de drogue. Il s’agit notamment à mettre à jour l’articulation et les tensions entre liens horizontaux, construits dans le milieu d’interconnaissance et de coprésence du quartier, et les liens verticaux d’intermédiation et de mises en conflit avec des acteurs institutionnels perçus comme extérieurs. Pour cela, la thèse repose sur une ethnographie dite intégrative au sein d’un quartier marseillais qui permet de saisir la multiplicité des espaces (domestiques, publiques, institutionnels, numériques) au sein desquels les femmes doivent négocier l’existence des bandes. La méthodologie retenue combine l’analyse des situations sociales d’interactions (observations situationnelles et « network tracing »), des vécus subjectifs (entretiens), des rapports collectifs en jeu (archives et contenu numérique), et enfin de la dimension spatiale des liens (parcours commentés et cartes mentales). En rendant compte des multiples expériences des femmes en fonction de leurs positions intersectionelles, de leurs inscriptions dans des réseaux et des espaces qu’elles investissent, cette recherche offre une compréhension fine des rôles intimes et politiques des femmes au sein des espaces relationnels que constituent les « ganglands ».

 

 

Trying to master uncertainty with remote heart monitoring: daily experiences of healthcare professionals

Author: Martina von Arx, PhD candidate, Faculty of Science, University of Geneva

This study examines the case of remote heart monitoring in the context of current developments of Personalized Health in Switzerland. First insights from ethnographical observations and semi-structured interviews show the pivotal role of the specialized nurses responsible for managing the automatically generated alerts by the telemonitoring system. While the algorithm is programmed for standardized thresholds in heart arrythmias, it is up to the nurses to distinguish and classify the incoming alerts according to their knowledge about the patients. Contrary to the promise of Personalized Health, personalization cannot be achieved by the mere mass of data but remains a human task.
As for other technological developments, remote heart monitoring does not appear to reduce much of the diagnostic uncertainty. Although certain detected arrhythmias lead to clear indication and treatment, others become the object of hesitancy among the healthcare professionals and sometimes the patients, for example, if they feel the arrhythmia, but it is a harmless one from the medical point of view. In this case, the specialized nurses take on a lot of relational and supportive work to calm the patients.
Further data collection will examine how patients deal with the uncertainty of waiting for a potential diagnosis and in which way different temporalities might be a key concept for questioning Personalized Health.

 

 

Pneumonia and Legionnaires’ disease: Diagnosis in theory and practice from physicians’ perspectives in Switzerland

Author: Fabienne B. Fischer, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel

Background: In Switzerland, the number of notified cases of Legionnaires’ disease – a severe bacterial pneumonia – has been continuously increasing in the last ten years to approximately 580 cases in 2019. The cause of this increase is not well understood. However, a recent retrospective study of Swiss Legionnaires’ disease notification data demonstrated that the number of diagnostic tests performed for Legionella spp. increased even more than the number of cases reported. That said the reasons for this increase in testing remained unexplained. In this national qualitative study, we explore the perspectives of the physicians at the point of care who manage pneumonia cases and order these diagnostic tests in practice. Specifically, we describe the decision pathways for pneumonia patients with a focus on the aetiological testing for causative agents and the physicians’ awareness around Legionnaires’ disease. Methodology: A team of five research assistants conducted 46 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with physicians of various health system levels from general practitioners to physicians at university hospitals from the German, French and Italian speaking parts of Switzerland. A code tree was constructed and discussed amongst two members of the study team and applied to all transcripts. During analysis, we moved from this deductive approach to a more inductive point of view to identify themes that emerged from the data. Results and discussion: In our study, we found a generally high level of awareness of Legionnaire’s disease, but also a consensus that this aetiology, along with most pneumonia pathogens, is underestimated. Diagnosis of Legionnaires’ disease is largely limited to the hospital setting, while general practitioners either treat patients presenting with pneumonia symptoms empirically or refer severe cases onwards. The findings of this study further suggest that decisions on diagnostics and treatment have to be made in a complex setting, while physicians face several expectations and constraints, which are not adequately reflected in discussions on Legionnaires’ disease incidence underestimation, such as antibiotic stewardship and financial considerations.

 

 

Crises politiques et économiques : quel impact sur les naturalisations ? Etude comparative des facteurs contextuels associés à la naturalisation en Suisse

Autrice : Aurélie Pont, Institut de démographie et socioéconomie, Université de Genève

En Suisse, l'acquisition du passeport suisse est, pour les étranger-ères, une condition sine qua non à la participation politique sur le plan fédéral et constitue un pas vers une démocratie plus représentative. Alors qu'ils constituent une grande partie de la population étrangère établie en Suisse, les ressortissant-es d'États membres de l'UE/AELE présentent parmi les taux de naturalisation les plus faibles enregistrés. Ainsi, cet article tentera d'apporter un éclairage sur les pratiques de ce groupe en comparant différents pays qui le composent. La naturalisation est traditionnellement expliquée par trois facteurs à savoir : les caractéristiques de l'individu, du pays d'accueil et du pays d'origine. Il apparaît notamment qu'être jeune et de sexe féminin augmente la probabilité de se naturaliser (Vink et al., 2013; Constant et al., 2007, en Suisse: Loretan & Wanner, 2017). De plus, lorsque l'acquisition de la nationalité du pays d'accueil est dépendante de critères économiques ou lorsque la double citoyenneté n'est pas reconnue, les taux de naturalisations s'avèrent être plus faibles (Stadlmair, 2017). Mais, jusqu'à présent, la littérature s'est peu penchée sur les changements qui s'opèrent dans le contexte d'origine. Ainsi, cet article identifie trois évènements survenus entre 2000 et 2017 susceptibles d'affecter la naturalisation, à savoir : la reconnaissance de la double citoyenneté, l'entrée dans l'UE et la crise économique de 2009. Il retrace de manière descriptive l'évolution des taux de naturalisation durant les périodes précédant et suivant ces changements. Les résultats de ce papier montrent que la reconnaissance de la double citoyenneté et les effets de la crise économique de 2009 ont vraisemblablement augmenté l'intérêt à se naturaliser alors que l'impact de l'entrée du pays d'origine dans l'UE est plus discutable.

 

 

The impact of socioeconomic position and cultural health capital on engaging in cancer screening services: a consistent phenomenon across Europe?

Author: Vincent De Prez, PhD candidate, Sociology Department, Ghent University

Background: Little is known about the importance of cultural health capital (CHC) characteristics for engaging in female cancer screening (CS) services. Our aim was to examine the relationship between both socioeconomic and CHC characteristics and the attendance to Pap smear, mammography and FOBT uptake, in relation to the availability of organised CS programmes in Europe. Methods: We analysed data of 44’392 50-64-year-old women from the European Health Interview Survey’s (EHIS) second wave (2013-2015). Individual CHC was measured by both primary (healthy behaviours) and secondary prevention (experience with different types of medical screening). Having organised CS programmes was conceived as institutional CHC. Results: Firstly, clear income and educational gradients were found for Pap smear and mammography screening uptake, but not for FOBT. Further, engaging in primary and secondary prevention increased the likelihood of CS uptake, for all three CS outcomes. The positive effect of secondary prevention was lower in countries with organised screening programmes (versus opportunistic screening) for Pap smear and mammography screening, but not for FOBT screening. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that having higher CHC may result in the accumulation of advantage, and in the widening of disparities in cultural know-how between those who possess this and those who do not, resulting in inequalities in CS participation. Nevertheless, organised programmes at country level (institutional CHC) may compensate for an absence of both socioeconomic and CHC at the individual level for Pap smear and mammography, highlighting their inequality-altering impact for both material and immaterial factors. These findings are crucial for our understanding of disparities in CS uptake.

 

 

Alternative Consumption, Sustainable Consumption and the Search of the Good Life: Practicing Zero Waste in Chinese Cities

Author: Xinyu ZHAN, PhD candidate, Environmental Governance and Territorial Development, University of Geneva

Over the last few years, citizens have become more aware of the negative impact of waste and especially plastic waste, resulting in the emergence of a global movement called ‘zero waste’. This paper studies how citizens and movement ‘leaders’ understand and perform zero waste in Chinese cities, where consumerist lifestyles are in full bloom. I argue that practices of alternative and sustainable consumption, central to the zero waste movement, can be understood as everyday resistance to the wasteful consumer culture in search of the ‘good life’. Using in-depth interviews with movement ‘leaders’ and participants, as well as online observation of movement networks in Chinese cities, I analyze how zero waste allow its participants to meet needs and achieve wellbeing through the performance of a constellation of practices.  The movement raises critical questions about the current paradigm of economic growth in China, and calls for further exploration of more sustainable models of development to deliver wellbeing to all within planetary boundaries.

 

 

 “Fault lines” in the family network: Contact and substitution between children, parents, and grandparents on both sides in divorced and non-divorced families

Author: Vera de Bel, Post-doctoral researcher, LIVES, University of Geneva

This study compares to what extent contact frequency between parents and their own parents differs from contact frequency between parents and their (former) parents-in-law, a divide we refer to as a “fault line” in the family network. Based on kin-keeping theories we investigate how much the depth of this fault line varies across parents’ gender and between divorced and non-divorced families. Whether children are able to get in touch with the grandparental generation is dependent on parents’ intergenerational relationships because parents often act as generational bridges between grandchildren and grandparents. To investigate whether families find ways to substitute lower contact frequencies with family members on one side of the family by higher contact frequencies with equivalent family members on the other side of the family, we study associations between parent-grandparental dyads and child-grandparental dyads. 4,436 families from the multi-actor Divorce in Flanders data with 1-5 family members reporting on contact with 1-7 family members are analyzed. Results from the Social Relations Model show that although contact frequencies differ between fathers and mothers, parents have less contact with their parents-in-law compared to their own parents, especially when parents are divorced. The negative associations between child-paternal grandparental dyads and child-maternal grandparental dyads, as well as between parent-paternal grandparental dyads and parent-maternal grandparental dyads provide evidence for substitution in divorced and non-divorced families, but not for a stronger substitution effect in divorced families. 

 

 

Exploring the nexus between migrant’s legal status, cross-border mobility and life satisfaction through a longitudinal and mixed methods study

Author: Liala Consoli, PhD candidate, NCCR LIVES, Institute of Sociological Research, University of Geneva

Undocumented migrants have to deal with a situation of ‘involuntary immobility’: if they visit their family back home or travel to other countries they are at risk of being refused to re-entry their country of residence. Previous studies highlighted the multiple negative consequences of this immobility on their emotional, family and social life. Over the last decades, many European countries implemented selective regularization programs. The aim of this paper is to understand how a regularization program affects cross-border mobility practices (return visits and travels toward third countries) and how these practices affect migrants’ well-being. What are the cross-border mobility practices of undocumented and regularized migrants? How is the gain in freedom of movement experienced for regularized migrants ? What does this “newly acquired” freedom of movement mean for migrants? Qualitative and quantitative data were collected between 2017 and 2020 in Geneva, Switzerland, simultaneously with the implementation of an extraordinary regularization program (Operation Papyrus). Undocumented and recently regularized migrants responded to two questionnaires at a time interval of one year (n=464). A subsample was selected to undergo qualitative interviews (n=39). This study is part of the Parchemins project. Our preliminary results indicate that despite their limited cross-border mobility, not all undocumented migrants remain fully immobile and that visa policy shapes their mobility practices. Regularization increases the capacity of individuals to decide whether to move or not. We observed an increase in return visits and mobility toward third countries after regularization. The new freedom of movement is experienced as a shift in the frame of mind often compared by them to ‘getting out of jail’. This new freedom leads to important changes such as renegotiating transnational care arrangements, readapting projects for the future or engaging in new social and transnational activities.

 

 

The Social Harms Market: a case study of the Genevan Philanthropy

Author: Sophie Serrano, PhD candidate in Criminology, University of Neuchâtel

The moral entrepreneur is a social actor capable of turning social situations, perceived by themself as harming, into public problems. In line with Howard Becker's work, the criminological literature has looked at the processes of problem construction by moral entrepreneurs and their consequences. It explains how certain social situations are turned into public problems and how these are then dealt with publicly. In parallel, the social harms perspective – or zemiology – highlights how given harmful social situations do not become considered as public problems. In this light, this paper studies what processes lead to the prioritisation of harms by moral entrepreneurs in the public arena, a phenomenon which remains to this day a blind spot in the criminological literature. The prioritisation process is investigated through a case study: Genevan philanthropy. Indeed, among a range of social harms, philanthropists have to select the ones in which they will invest their resources. Employing a qualitative methodology (observation, interview, documentary analysis), it describes this prioritisation process by using the metaphor of the “market for social harms”. It argues that philanthropists select their harms according to a risk/benefit assessment, stemming from the business world. This valuation of harms is a collective process involving other Genevan philanthropists and is dependent on their competition and cooperation. Finally, by detailing this metaphor, this study provides a more general understanding of social dynamics involved in the prioritisation of social harms in a given public arena.

 

 

Childlessness in India: life trajectories towards a (non-)transition

Author: Rojin Sadeghi, PhD candidate, Institut de démographie et socioéconomie, University of Geneva

Childlessness is an important topic from a demographic, public health, social and cultural point of view. At a micro level this phenomenon is associated with a non-transition, an issue that is barely studied while crucial in the construction of individual life courses. In the developing world, childlessness has for a long time been associated with infertility, mainly linked with poverty and low reproductive health conditions, and has led to social opprobrium targeting childless women, much more than men. However, dynamic demographic transitions in the so-called South, including in large countries like India, have resulted in low fertility, accompanying complex social changes occurring in cultural settings that remain highly distinct from those of the Western world. In that context, one can expect that the subpopulation of childless women and their life trajectories recently became more heterogeneous. Indeed, as Indian fertility declines, the most privileged segments of the population may increasingly allow themselves to choose not to have children, or more easily accept the fact that they cannot give birth due to life's constraints, especially the uneasy combination of professional and family lives. On the other hand, the less well-off segments of the population may still be under pressure from stronger reproductive norms. For them, childlessness may still largely be due to a biological impossibility to procreate caused by the impact of their socioeconomic situation on their health. Moreover, their status may prevent them from accessing costly medical treatments related to infertility. Whether this situation is voluntary or not, we suspect a plurality of paths leading to childlessness. Using the fourth round of the National and Family Health Survey (NFHS 4, 2015-2016), which includes information on socioeconomic variables and on the reproductive life of individuals, we aim to better understand life trajectories of Indian women who are outside the normative framework of motherhood, and the factors associated with them, through sequence analysis and cluster analysis. Contrary to the monolithic vision that the literature gives of Indian childless women, preliminary results show a great heterogeneity of trajectories among these individuals. The majority of them fits an advantaged profile. However, our methodological approach also showed a plurality of possible trajectories towards non-parenthood.

 

 

La correction des textes dans les services de traduction : enjeux pour la collaboration au travail et les relations entre collègues

Auteur : Aurélien Riondel, doctorant, Faculté de traduction et d’interprétation, Université de Genève

Dans le monde professionnel de la traduction, le terme « révision » désigne le travail de vérification qu’effectue une personne sur un texte qui a été traduit par une autre. Fréquente dans de nombreux contextes, cette activité est souvent considérée comme une étape importante de l’assurance qualité des textes et représente par conséquent une part non négligeable du métier de traducteur/trice. Malgré son importance dans la pratique, elle reste peu étudiée, même si on constate une hausse des publications ces dernières années. En particulier, il y a très peu de travaux sur les relations traducteur-réviseur et il n’existe aucune étude où la révision est approchée comme un phénomène social. S’inscrivant dans le cadre d’une thèse portant les relations entre traducteur et réviseur, cette présentation a pour objectif de montrer en quoi la révision constitue un enjeu au niveau des relations entre collègues appartenant à un même service de traduction. En me fondant sur 45 entretiens semi-directifs menés avec des traducteurs-réviseurs et des responsables de service de traduction, je mets plus particulièrement en évidence que les traducteurs perçoivent généralement le fait de se faire réviser comme vexant, démoralisant ou violent. L’ambiance dans le service, la personnalité de chacun-e tout comme la manière d’expliquer les corrections sont autant d’éléments qui influencent la manière dont la révision est reçue. A l’échelle du service, la révision peut également engendrer des conflits interpersonnels. Elle n’est toutefois pas uniquement négative. Mon enquête révèle qu’elle permet, en effet, de faire collaborer les membres des équipes et de passer du temps avec ses collègues, et ce alors même que la traduction est avant tout une activité solitaire.

 

 

Wine Complexities: Post-Industrial Production and Sentiments in Turkey

Author: Atak Ayaz, PhD candidate, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

The “Wine Complexities: Post-Industrial Production and Sentiments in Turkey” research project narrates the social life of Turkish luxury wine. At the margins of Europe, Turkey is emerging as a wine economy, particularly given the ever-increasing number of investors and wineries, the vineyards dedicated to quality-oriented wine production and the international recognition for bottles. While Turkey is described as the birthplace of vitis vinifera (Atalay and Hastorf 2006) and wine has been produced in Anatolia for centuries (Gümüş and Gümüş 2008; Özdemir 2013), investments made to small scale and quality-oriented wineries controlling the whole process from grape cultivation to bottling—post-industrial mode of production—date back only to the late 1990s/early 2000s. In this project, I explore emergent forms of agricultural entrepreneurialism as they develop in post-industrial wineries established by well-educated urban people coming from the upper-middle classes and non-agricultural sectors—such as textiles, banking, and technology. While long-term residents of rural areas are abandoning agriculture to establish their lives in cities, among urbanites there is an increasing tendency to shift their capital to rural areas. By centering the changes in winery owners’ professional lives and their motives to carry their investment to rural areas, this research project probes how small-scale, quality-oriented production ethos of post-industrialism (Terrio 2000; Paxson 2013) has restructured agricultural entrepreneurialism and rural development in northern Turkey. Through my 13-months of ethnographic study, I focus on sentiments and valuation, expressed by my interlocutors who are recent actors in the agrarian sector of Turkey, in order to shed light on the country’s food and development politics and to theoretically explore the impact of globalism and a globally acknowledged mode of production on localities at the margins of Europe.

 

 

Secondary school students’ attitudes concerning mutual acculturation in Switzerland, Germany, and Greece: towards understanding its impact on school adjustment

Author: Petra Sidler, PhD candidate, NCCR, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz

In most OECD countries, immigrant descendants and young migrants face the risk of underachieving at school (OECD, 2010). As two review studies showed (Makarova & Birman, 2015, 2016), the process of acculturation (Berry, 2019) plays a crucial role when migrant students are adjusting to the country of residence and its schools. Based on data collected in 2019 of N=1160 pupils in public secondary schools in Switzerland (n=375), Germany (n=346), and Greece (n=439), this contribution aims to strengthen our understanding of the impact of secondary school students’ attitudes towards mutual acculturation on school adjustment. First, our analysis offers cross-national insights into secondary school students’ attitudes towards mutual acculturation. Second, we analyze the various acculturation attitudes patterns in relation to school adjustment. To do so, a newly constructed four-dimensional mutual acculturation attitudes scale has been used, which considers that acculturation attitudes are held not only towards immigrant students (heritage culture maintenance and dominant culture adoption) but also towards native students (acquiring intercultural knowledge) and towards schools’ responsibility of supporting intercultural contact. Through a latent profile analysis (LPA) (Oberski, 2016), three distinct acculturation attitudes profiles were found in all three countries, which differed mostly in the two new majority dimensions. Whereas the integration and the mild integration profiles looked similar across all three countries, the third profile “low responsibility majority” showed cross-national differences. Multiple regressions with Swiss sample data showed significant effects on school adjustment and grades: the more the students agreed to the four acculturation dimensions (integration and mild integration profiles), the better was their school adjustment. The less the students agreed to the majority dimensions (low responsibility majority), the higher grades they had in German and Math. Overall, this contribution demonstrates the importance of a mutual acculturation framework, as LPA showed distinct profiles in three national samples concerning the two majority dimensions.

 

 

Human after all: on the need for face-to-face interactions alongside our digital lives

Author: Mattia Vacchiano, Lecturer, Institute of Sociological Research, University of Geneva

While computers and smartphones have become pervasive in our lives, face-to-face interactions remain irreplaceable. This seems worth emphasising even more today, as restrictions on social life have made online activities the primary means of being together with many of our most significant contacts. While online activities are known for helping to reach resources embedded in weak connections across time and space, face-to-face activities are (still) the best-known means of creating social bonds and mobilising those forms of social support that are fundamental to our mental health. Using a representative sample of 8148 cases from the Swiss Household Panel (SHP), we test hypotheses related to these topics in the context of leisure activities. We describe an autoregressive cross-lagged model linking offline and online leisure with perceptions of support from relatives and friends (relatedness), and with an indicator of psychological distress over a span of three years (2015-2018). Our findings show that pre-existing psychological distress leads to greater engagement in online leisure, such as browsing the Internet and online chatting, which is alleged to be due to social anhedonia. By contrast, engagement in both offline leisure and face-to-face interactions appears to be a key mechanism in activating social capital mobilization processes which help cultivate feelings of relatedness and are associated with better mental health. However, we do not find evidence that screen-use activities per se lead to mental distress over time, thus suggesting that more research is needed to distinguish those who avoid engagement in face-to-face interactions from screen-users as such.