Du naturalisme au vitalisme : construire autrement le diabète de type 2 chez les migrants originaires de l'Afrique subsaharienne

Authors: Ntanda, Gisèle Mandiangu
Advisor: Roy, BernardTremblay, Marie-Claude
Abstract: Over the past few decades, the number of people living with type 2 diabetes has been increasing worldwide. In Canada, as elsewhere, this condition affects populations unevenly. Prevalence rates are higher in the migrant population compared to the general population, especially among migrants from developing countries who have a higher prevalence of diabetes compared to those of European origin. The food act and corporality, two social dimensions anchored in a system of socio-cultural representations, also count in the development of type 2 diabetes. These are the two dimensions that the naturalist health community targets more so that people living with this pathology regain their health, understood as the absence of disease. Indeed, these people are individually invited to lose weight and to carefully choose the food products that they include in their daily diet while respecting the nutritional values and caloric intake scientifically standardized. This approach often obscures the social, identity, historical and political dimensions of the food act and corporality. Anchored in a community health posture based on a vitalist approach, this thesis postulates that health is normativity. A normativity that allows the subject to construct norms that allow him to live not only in his biological dimensions, but also, and perhaps even more, in his family, community, social, identity and even political dimensions. To grasp this normativity, qualitative ethnographic research was conducted. A variety of data was collected using several methods: floating observations, individual interviews (N= 28) with migrants from various Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, and journaling. We were interested in the deployment of social normativity through the act of eating and the corporality of migrants from SSA living with T2DM or at risk of developing it. Rather than considering these subjects as sick people or people at risk of becoming sick, we were interested in their life course, the choices and the creativity they deployed in the act of eating and their physicality. Their stories show that the teachings and prescriptions of food and body norms by the health authorities, which are based on a naturalistic posture, sometimes act as affronts, as threats to the vital normalities that allow the subject to exist. The results of this thesis reveal, among other things, that the social practices strongly linked to type 2 diabetes, particularly in relation to the act of eating and corporality, are deployed in a tension regarding rules of convenience. And this pathology among migrants from SSA coexists with an affirmed health due to a negotiation and production of norms by these subjects. They also suggest that, in populations with a colonial past, as is the case in our study, the dynamics that operate in the process of social normativity are inseparable from the political and colonial relations incorporated into the identity of the individuals. The colonial heritage and their arrival in a host country such as Canada may bring to the surface a past that has left traces for some of them over many generations. Resistance to imposed norms then takes on political dimensions that are unsuspected or very rarely considered. Finally, this thesis postulates that the health to be promoted comes from the creative and self-determined capacity of the Subjects to contest imposed norms and to create new norms responding to their vital aspirations. As Canguilhem says, normality is an imposed normativity whereas normativity is a contested normality.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2022
Open Access Date: 20 June 2022
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/73609
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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