Marine Boisson

Marine Boisson

Participant 2016-2017

Studying the relation to death in our societies, I examine the broader question of ontologies – the ontologies of “living”, “dying”, and “dead” – and how actors deal with them in practice.
 
My doctoral dissertation, supervised by Cyril Lemieux and Catherine Rémy, is based on a combinatory ethnography, which explores end-of-life care. The observation of the nursing staff’s work in a cancer care unit, in a palliative care unit, a hospital mortuary, and a funeral services company seeks to fully grasp the device that enables the transition from life to death. The study of this whole professional network shows the similarities, differences, and relations between the various spaces/times of death. It highlights the existence of moments of disorder, during which the notions of “living” and “dead” are put to the test, forcing the actors to redefine and stabilize these boundaries by degrees and thresholds.
 
Thus the dissertation poses the question of the transition from the status of “living” to that of “dead” in our societies. It explores its temporality and its possible radicalism with respect to the role medical institutions, the care staff, and the funeral services play in the implementation of this transition. It also aims to clarify the ethical and political issues raised by the marking and allocation of these identities.
 
In addition to my doctoral research, I teach an introductory course in sociology (University of Évry Val d’Essonne, 2012-2013) and run the PhD students’ workshop of the GSPM (2011-2012).