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Scientific policy

In addition to the diversity of research fields and topics, there is a strong consistency in the scientific activity of the members of IRIS, which is based on the founding principles of its scientific policy. The members of the Institute share the conception of the unity of the social sciences for a pluridisciplinary reading of social worlds.

The work of IRIS researchers follows an interdisciplinary logic based on an articulation of knowledge and methods that relies on the effective implementation of research situated on the borders of several disciplines. In carrying out their research, they respect the diversity of approaches, while remaining dedicated to collaborative work. This work has an international dimension thanks to intense dialogue with colleagues abroad and fields of research that are spread across the globe. Field studies are at the heart of their work and lead to interdisciplinary epistemological thinking, in particular in examining the social and moral issues involved in the study relationship. Attention to processes of social change, discussion of political and moral issues, and critical approaches are all traits that define the research centre.

This conception of the social sciences makes it possible to analyse the dynamics of social change through, for example, historical approaches, the consideration of temporalities, the observation of social movements, and attention to ordinary practices that reveal structural changes. Often less analysed in themselves, institutions, symbols, and forms represent frameworks that allow for an analysis of social facts understood in terms of political and moral issues, where controversies, oppositions between norms and values, and relations of meaning and power can be observed. This analysis of the transformations of social worlds requires a critical approach, both on the level of the realities observed and on that of the tools and approaches used to understand them.

Finally, research at IRIS is directly connected to its teaching activity and its mission to spread knowledge and practices. Much of the research relies on seminars, which are themselves spaces for training in research and through research. The symbiosis sought between researchers at different stages of their careers (doctoral candidates, postdoctoral researchers, and senior researchers) is a major advantage for the research dynamic of the Institute.

Line 1 - Ethnography of domination: Power, emancipation, subjectivity

Line 2 - The frontiers of privacy: Injunctions, tensions, resistance

Line 3 - Health as government of individuals and populations

IRIS is very active in the three cycles of higher education and has made a priority of its policy for the training and professional socialisation of doctoral candidates. Its teaching activity takes places mainly in the university establishments where its researcher-lecturers work, primarily the EHESS and the University of Paris 13.

Paris 13

Bâtiment Recherche Sud
5 cours des Humanités
93322 Aubervilliers cedex

UFR SMBH 74 rue Marcel Cachin, 93017 Bobigny cedex



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