A classificatory ethnography of civic participation in health: A major social innovation? The Ciné Ma Santé program in the northern districts of Toulouse (France)

By Jean-Charles Basson, Jean-Paul Génolini

Presented as a major social innovation, civic participation in health is commonly elicited to facilitate the public health aspect of urban policy among impoverished populations. This civic participation takes on multiple forms and practices, a typology of which we drew-up using an empirical and carefully examined ethnography. Our research was conducted over ten years in the context of a health education program using the device “Atelier santé ville” (Urban Health Workshop), a set of activities in the districts of northern Toulouse (France). While four different modes of participation can be drawn from this, we choose to use the standardized scale elaborated by Arnstein to clearly examine the gradation in terms of power(s). Our results indicate that, while the device itself is likely to be the object of potentially political appropriation by social actors of working-class origin, it remains highly well-defined and widely subject to the contingency of public institutions commitment to health.
JEL code: I18

  • Social Innovation
  • Citizen Participation
  • Public Health
  • Prevention
  • City Policy
  • Typology
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