Intervention de Séverine Louvel du CNRS and Sciences Po et Julien Larregue de l'Université de Laval, dans le cadre de la série de séminaires internationaux organisés par L. Chiapperino et C. Fasel en lien avec le projet Ambizione du FNS "Constructing the Biosocial : an engaged inquiry into epigenetics and post-genomic biosciences".
Since the 2010s, social epigenetics -the study of the epigenetic mechanisms through which social environments become biologically embodied- is often heralded as a research area that grasps the biosocial entanglements between material bodies and living conditions, and as a promising interdisciplinary crossroad between the biological and the social sciences. Several social scientists have argued that, so far, research in social epigenetics does not live up to expectations: it deletes the complexity of social environments and is practically not informed by social scientific approaches.
However, a nascent stream of research in social epigenetics -involving researchers in social epidemiology and in sociology- resonates with the Chicago school of sociology. It investigates neighborhood effects on health, especially among racialized and disadvantaged social groups in the United States. Does it open up interdisciplinary research avenues? Does it imply a new critical discourse on social epigenetics? Drawing on interviews with researchers and qualitative analyses of the published literature, this presentation addresses the methodological and theoretical difficulties that such endeavors inevitably face and their consequences on the working dynamics of the interdisciplinary spaces that emerged in between social and biological sciences.
Zoom link : https://epfl.zoom.us/j/66516277875