Les bioéthiciens et leur projet d'interdisciplinarité : formation d'un groupe social d'un champ et d'une discipline

Authors: Dussault, Catherine
Advisor: Morin, Dominique
Abstract: Bioethics is a discipline of a scientific nature aiming to produce systematically norms aimed to intervene on the living. When bioethics acts as an approach dedicated to solving ethical problems requiring a technical and singular decision, it thinks itself as an ethics engaged in the finding of the “good” intervention to be made in a context of care, health or research. Despite its acknowledged heterogeneous nature, bioethics tends to its institutionalization as an “interdisciplinary” discipline, following a pedagogical and scientific organization of its own. This thesis aims to understand how bioethics’ institutionalization is “objectively” and “subjectively” experienced, in other terms, for the institution itself and for the bioethicists. Now, becoming a “bioethicist” – as the title is not clearly defined, nor sanctioned by codified and validated academic and professional experiences – asks sociology the question of its existence. We, therefore, study the symbolic work of the group and the discipline’s social definition, going together with its formation. The analysis of comprehensive interviews conducted with fifteen professors, researchers or ethicists having or having had activities in the field of bioethics reveals that the diversity of situations does not necessarily tally with scissions or divisions within the field: bioethicists share, on different levels, values and experiences corresponding to different ways of initiating – and possibly leaving – the discipline. We then glance through the early process of the group’s unification, the history and the institutionalization of the discipline, going with – what might appear as paradoxical – a critique of the “disciplinary”, denounced as hierarchical, exclusive, and perhaps outmoded. In order to thrive in the academic world whilst staying “pertinent” to problem solving, bioethics and bioethicists try to innovate through rational and interdisciplinary discussion between experts, which, intrinsically, modifies the scientific field in the image of their practices and representations.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2019
Open Access Date: 14 March 2019
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/34011
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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