3 questions to… Cécile Fournier following the publication of the book "Collaborative Practices in Health Care. Sociological Perspectives", June 2022, written under the direction of Thomas Denise, Sophie Divay, Marie Dos Santos, Lucile Girard, Aymeric Luneau

June 2022

1/ In what context was this collective work on cooperative practices in health care realised?

The French health system, which is characterized by multiple and cumulative compartmentalizations, responds poorly to the increasingly complex situations of users, which require biological, social and environmental factors to be taken into account. Solutions are being sought in the development and strengthening of cooperation between health professionals, with users, but also between ambulatory care and hospital, or between the health, medico-social and social sectors.
In this context, the study days organized on 28 and 29 March 2019 in Paris by the French Association of Sociology (Association française de sociologie) would provide a stimulating framework for reinterrogating the polysemous notion of "cooperation", both from the point of view of sociologists and of the respondents, and would serve as a basis for the realisation of this book.

2/ With what objectives?

The quality of the contributions to these study days led us to publish a call for papers aimed at making the results of the work presented visible and accessible. The aim was to highlight a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches that would allow us to see, close to the field, what is at stake through the injunctions to cooperate in health care, while taking into account their effects: for example, observing the effects of cooperation on professional boundaries, on the autonomy of the stakeholders, or on the legitimization or invalidation of both professional and lay knowledge.
In order to continue the dialogue initiated during the study days, the aim was also to bring together in this book the contributions of young and experienced researchers, some of whom cooperate with users and/or professionals.

3/ How is the book constructed, and for whom is it intended?

This collective work brings together 32 individual or collective contributions, involving more than 80 researchers. We wanted to make the process of constructing the "cooperation" object understandable in the light of the practices observed by the authors, but also, in the postface, through the perspective of a researcher recognized for his sociohistorical analysis of the transformations of the French health system, who is also an informed observer of the evolution of sociological research on these issues. The book is structured around three chapters that highlight how cooperation, embedded in power relationships, requires regulatory mechanisms to endure. The first chapter studies the negotiations around the division of labor between stakeholders, the second focuses on a diversity of professional territories that are the object of struggles, and the third questions, in the practices of cooperation, the articulation of professional, expert and lay knowledge.
This book is intended for students and researchers as well as professionals and users of the health system.