Call for Papers

These International and Interdisciplinary Assises, supported by the INCa, mark the emergence of an essential theme for studies on Cancer, located at the crossroads of social inequalities in health and gender relations.

Conducted as part of an interdisciplinary work involving sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, psychologists, doctors, epidemiologists, historians, and philosophers, these Conferences aim to develop and enrich the reflection on the experiences of cancer. They are aimed at both researchers in the humanities, social and medical sciences, associative actors, professionals and institutions practicing in the field of oncology as well as the patients themselves.


Four axes were selected for these meetings:

1st Axis – Cancer, gender, health and society
2nd Axis – Gender and Cancer Experiments
3rd Axis – Cancer, gender & inequalities: methodological and multidisciplinary issues.

In 2015, the number of new cases of cancer in metropolitan France is estimated at 385,000, including 211,000 in men (INCa, 2015), while cancer remains the leading cause of mortality with 149,500 deaths annually, including more 80,000 are for men. Despite these gender disparities, studies that explore the place of gender in the social construction of the disease are rare in France.

On the basis of these findings, the present Interdisciplinary & International Assises propose to question the experience of the cancerous disease starting from its gendered dimension while questioning the place that the gender occupies within the policies of public health, the trajectories of health, care routes and caregiver / care interactions. More concretely, it is a question of exploring the heuristic value of a gendered analysis of the cancer experiment, considering the genus, not as an auxiliary but central variable of the disease and, more generally, of the relationship that the individuals maintain with their body, their health and the care system.

What can be said about the correlations between cancer, health and gender? What do they tell us about the process of sexuation, hierarchy and gender division that operates in the field of health in general, and cancerous diseases in particular? What is the added value of a gender approach when cancer emerges in the path of a life? How does gender, situated at the intersection of socio-cultural and ethnic affiliations, categories of class, age, territory …, condition social inequalities in health and at the same time is conditioned by them?

The specific to the general, the health Cancer, gender social inequalities, this scientific event closing a European survey on this subject – funded by INCa and directed by Anastasia Meidani – and encourages researchers, professionals, institutions and associations to contribute to the development of an interdisciplinary reflection, while giving the floor to the patients.

To grasp the social issues underlying this thinking, communication proposals will be part of one or more of the following themes (note that the 3rd axis, entitled « Cancer, Gender & inequality: methodological issues and multidisciplinary « , Being transversal, it cuts across all the axes presented below).

1st Axis / 3rd Transversal Axis – Cancer, Gender, Health and Society

The ways in which a society defines gender and disease, dictates the norms that frame the « careers » of gender and those of patients or even orders the sequences of these careers, have not ceased to evolve in recent decades, under the the combined effect of feminist and homosexual challenges, medical advances and health system reforms. The result is a destabilization of the gendered behaviors associated with the disease. Does this mean that the gendered careers see themselves, if not more flexible at least more disparate, thus influencing the careers of patients? Can we talk about a de-standardization of careers of the kind and / or patients? On the other hand, as the incentives for empowerment multiply and the singular symposium gives way to the principle of shared decisions, can we claim the consolidation of patient capacities to be actors / actresses of their disease? How do these abilities relate to gender? These questions call for others who pose the distinction, institutional and practice, treatment and care, as empreignée gender (Gilligan, 2008; Laugier, Paperman, Molinier, 2009; Tronto, 2009; Russell, Hoschild, 2012 ).

Obviously the experiences of chronic disease are not asexual; just as they are not ahistorical. Therefore, it is not only a question of restoring the historical thickness of the social construction of the disease in its gendered aspects, but also of giving an account of the public policies and the devices of care by examining the structural aspects of the inequalities ( sexual and other) who operate within the management of cancers in specialized medicine, hospital and general. Are there any « gender specificities » that would guide the modalities of care? Can we talk about discrimination (positive or negative) of certain patients according to gender and / or certain types of cancer? How does this notion relate to the social construction of the notion of « at-risk populations »?

The foundation will also include prevention and screening messages that also seem strongly gendered (Meidani, 2005). One will also wonder: what is the political depth of these devices of the care and which place occupies the kind in their elaboration? How does expertise, for example, contribute to the development of the institutionalization modalities of patients’ trajectories in its gendered components? What are these « expert » discourses and the professional practices that underlie them? On which normative systems and which social representations, especially gendered ones, do they rely? What about the media appropriation of these « expertise » discourses? It is a question here of considering the spaces of care – political, institutional, hospitable – like scenes subjected to the asymmetrical relations between men and women, which Godelier (1982) qualifies like the « house of the men ».


2nd Axis / 3rd Transverse Axis – Gender and Cancer Experiments

The question of gender can not be reduced to a mere duality, which means that the definition of gender is neither homogeneous nor inflexible (Butler 2005, De Lauretis 2007). For example, a great deal of research, mostly Anglophone, has highlighted the specific links between gays (Léobon, 2003, Girard, 2012), lesbians and trans (Namaste, 2001, Alessandrin, 2012), and more generally, their health (Levy 2011, Beck 2011). But again, the impact of gender identity has only rarely been studied in relation to cancer, especially in the French context (Meidani, Alessandrin, 2017). At the same time, the first international research (Boehmer, 2011) highlights the gaps in prevention for LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Intersex), as well as variations in the prevalence of various cancers in these populations, compared to heterosexual populations. At this level many questions remain unanswered.

Understanding the way in which patients compose their cancer risk, negotiate the related gender categories following the onset of the disease, and appropriate the identity of the patient, is tantamount to exploring the adjustment strategies they they mobilize to « live with » cancer. How does gender intervene in this process: in the face of the risks of exposure to the cancerous disease, along the trajectory of the disease, or in caregiving / care interactions (Meidani, 2017; 2014). Here it is about exploring how masculinities and femininity come into play in the perception of risk in the face of suspected or diagnosed cancer. Do they provide a differential relationship to risk and care? On this point, proposals for communication focused on the perception of risks, both on the part of the professionals and on the side of the patient, apprehended sometimes as « suffered » sometimes as « chosen », will be particularly appreciated, as well as occupational risks and the resulting cancers. The same is true for childhood cancers that question unequal dynamics.

Let us add that cancer is experienced by patients sometimes as a continuity sometimes as a rupture (especially in the context of the announcement of the diagnosis of cancer). How do these perceptions differ from a gendered point of view? To what extent is the arrival of the disease a turning point in a life’s journey and how do men and women deal with it? What logics of gendered subjectivity can we highlight from these care pathways? How do these logics – preventive, curative, palliative – transfer themselves into individual practices and cross other factors of inequality?

In this context, particular attention will be paid to the social designations of the patient’s identity, elaborated by the people with cancer themselves, the professionals involved in their care, their relatives, but also other patients. present in associative collectives. This activity of elaboration of the lived resonates of a tendency to the biographisation, or if one prefers to the singularization, of the experience of the disease, already underlined by the sociological works relating to the life courses.


3rd Axis / 3rd Transversal Axis – Cancer, Gender & Inequalities: Methodological and Multidisciplinary Challenges

Through recent fields, we wish in this last axis, to question the methodological pitfalls encountered in the analysis of the « gender » and « cancer » couple, as well as the solutions envisaged by researchers to solve them. The notions of « multidisciplinarity » and « intersectionality » will then also be mobilized both in their pragmatic and theoretical dimensions.





For this conference, proposals for communication and posters are expected. They must imperatively be sent before 20 September 2017 (included) to the following email addresses: &

For communication proposals: maximum one page, with title, names of the communicant.e.s, university affiliation. They will be accompanied (in annexes) with a biography of the 10 lines and an indicative bibliography. The names of the folders (in .doc format) should appear as follows: name.first name.axisN ° X
For poster proposals: maximum 10 lines addressing the subject of the poster, name of the exhibitor (s), academic affiliations. They will be accompanied (in annexes) by the short biography and bibliography. The names of the folders (in .doc format) should appear as follows: name.first name.axisN ° X.poster
Calendar :

Call for papers: until 20 September 2017

Notification to authors: September 30, 2017



The registration to the conference will take place from October 15, 2017. To register, thank you to send your names, first names and status to the following addresses: &






A. MEIDANI: Scientific Officer of the Symposium


For the Organizing Committee

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