Nouvelles d’ANAMIA : conférences, vidéos et outils de visualisation de données

Je suis actuellement à Québec (plus précisément sur le campus de l’Université Laval) où j’ai été invité à présenter ANAMIA, notre projet ANR sur les communautés anorexiques et boulimiques du Web, dans le cadre du méga-congrès francophone canadien ACFAS. Que Georges Canguilhem ne m’en veuille pas trop, l’intitulé de ma présentation est Le normal et le parfait. Rapport au médical et émergence de normes corporelles au sein des communautés anorexiques du Web (lundi 6, 15h30, salle 3850 du Pavillon Alexandre-Vachon, colloque du CELAT, session « Corps et médias : énonciation, négociation, contestation et réaffirmation, présidée par Madeleine Pastinelli).

Par ailleurs, avec les autres membres du projet, nous venons de lancer en ligne la série de Conférences ANAMIA : des vidéos et des slides de présentations de membres de notre équipe de recherche et de spécialistes français apportant un éclairage sociologique, historique, psychologique sur les Web des troubles alimentaires et sur le phénomène pro-ana. La première vidéo est celle de La minceur, obsession ou danger, conférence de l’historien Georges Vigarello (directeur d’études à l’EHESS et auteur, entre autres, de La silhouette, 2012 ; Les métamorphoses du gras, 2010 ; Histoire de la beauté, 2004). Le montage a été réalisé par Argyro Paouri, de la cellule audiovisuelle du CEM IIAC CNRS/EHESS.

VigarelloANAMIA[Conférence ANAMIA] Georges Vigarello « La minceur n’est pas une obsession exclusivement moderne »

Pour terminer, un teaser de quelque chose sur laquelle nous avons travaillé ces derniers mois avec le très talentueux designer Quentin Bréant : un tools de visualisation des données collectées dans le cadre de nos enquêtes sur les utilisateurs de sites Web liés aux troubles alimentaires en France et au Royaume. Nous allons faire une présentation live sur le site Web du projet ANAMIA prochainement. Entre temps (et sans autre explication) voilà une petite galerie… question de vous donner un avant-goût.

Visualisations des données de l’enquête ANAMIA en France et au Royaume-Uni

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Et in Athenis ego: update on ongoing research on the body + riots

I know I should be in Lyon for the www12 conference with all the Internet big shots, but instead I’m taking a plane and heading to Greece. The opportunity came via an invitation to deliver a speech at the New Sensorium, an international symposium that will take place on April 20-21 at the BIOS, in Athens. If you are around, you should definitely attend! The conference deals with some of my main research foci (digital technologies, media and the body) and it is the outcome of a collaboration between the Department of Communication, Media and Culture of Panteion University and the McLuhan Program at the University of Toronto (I was their guest a few months ago).

The New Sensorium symposium – BIOS, Athens (20-21 April 2012)

Just so you know my speech carries the somewhat cryptic title The Virus and the Avatar. Ways of socializing the sensible in computer culture – and if you don’t have a clue of what it’s about, here are two texts in Greek and in English that might be of help.

But this Athens trip will also be the chance to do more than a bit of field research for our ongoing ICCU (Internet Censorship and Civil Unrest) project. You might remember the project was kickstarted by this blog post about last year’s UK riots.

Our research received a lot of attention and eventually became a working paper, then an article coming up in the Bulletin of Sociological Methodology and started a number of prospective spin-offs in other nations. The Athens one is based on the idea of studying media and internet use during the Greek 2010-12 protests (and the way they are linked with the 2008 riots). Won’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil the party. But, if I manage to grasp a little wifi, I might be blogging a postcard or two from my Athenian fieldwork.

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“Anamia” social networks and online privacy: our Sunbelt XXXII presentations (Redondo Beach, March 18, 2012)

[This is a joint post with Paola Tubaro’s Blog]

So, here we are in the (intermittently) sunny state of California for Sunbelt XXXII, the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA) annual conference. This year the venue is Redondo Beach and the highlights are both old and new stars of social network analysis:  David Krackhardt, Tom Valente, Barry Wellman, Emmanuel Lazega, Anuška Ferligoj, Ron Burt, Bernie Hogan, Carter Butts, Christina Prell, etc.

Here are our presentations, both delivered on Sunday 18th, March 2012.

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DSK et la morale institutionnelle du FMI

Qu’est-ce que Dominique Strauss-Kahn et Julian Assange ont un commun (à part leurs cheveux blancs et une certaine allure d’outsiders) ? Tous les deux ont été accusés du même crime odieux.

On a déjà débattu et décortiqué l’affaire Assange. Et nul doute que l’on va faire de même pour DSK. Et bien sûr, au delà de la authenticité des accusations, on ne se lassera pas d’insister ici sur la portée politique de ces scandales sexuels. La question que nous pouvons d’ores et déjà nous poser n’est pas – comme le feraient les théoriciens du complot – à qui profitent ces arrestations (<sarcasme> au tandem politique Obama/Clinton dans le cas d’Assange ? au tandem politique Sarkozy/Le Pen dans le cas de DSK ? </sarcasme>).

Il y a une question qui est à mon avis encore plus essentielle et qui était bien posée dans cet article de Joshua Gamson, paru dans le revue Social Problems : quelle est la portée normative d’un scandale sexuel pour les institutions impliquées ?

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Avatar activism and the « survival of the mediated » hypothesis

By now, you’re all way too familiar with the Egyptian Facebook activism. And everybody and his sister has spent the last year-and-a-half discussing how wrong was Malcolm Gladwell in dismissing Moldovan Twitter activism. And millions of you have smiled at Gaddafi’s crazy rant against Tunisian Wikileaks activism. But I’m sure the notion of Avatar activism appeals to a more restricted audience.

In an attempt to fill this gap in your general knowledge, let me point you to a recent article by Mark Deuze.
Mark Deuze (2010). Survival of the mediated Journal of Cultural Science, 3 (2)

One interesting part of the essay deals with protestors around the world appropriating the aesthetic codes and themes of James Cameron’s film Avatar. In the Palestinian village of  Bil’in, for instance, activists disguised as blue-skinned Na’vi fight « Israeli imperialism ». The same goes with other community initiatives around the world, such as the Dongria Kondh tribe in eastern India and the Kayapo Indians in the Amazon rainforest.

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Doctoring Fukushima: from nuclear catastrophe to natural bodily function

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident, an interesting video has been circulating. Disguised as an educational animation targeting children, it is actually an anonymous pro-nuclear propaganda feature based on a tweet by media artist Kazuhiko Hachiya. Nuclear Boy (a character representing Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant) has a bad case of stomach-ache. A series of defecation-based incidents ensue. Doctors take turn to ease his condition and hopefully they will help him avoid ‘Tchernobyl diarrea scenario’.

Scatological humor aside, what is interesting here is the concurring efforts to medicalize and to naturalize a nuclear disaster. If the explosion of a reactor is comparable to defecation, it becomes a natural bodily function. It is thus inscribed in the normal course of events. It is even vital that Nuclear Boy ‘passes some gas’ at some point. In this case, like in others I’ve been discussing in this blog, the negative effects of human-made technologies are normalized by inscribing them into a medical  discourse about the body. As far as medical knowledge is summoned up to provide scientific backing to the claim that ‘everything is for the best’, the entire event becomes a moralizing hygiene lesson comparable to those that early 20th institutions used to deliver to the masses.

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What is medicine all about? Staring at screens

Recently, the New York Times’s blog dealing with health and medicine, Well, featured an interesting piece on Desktop medicine. The author Pauline W. Chen, M.D., maintains that medical profession has been profoundly changed by the advent of desktop computers. In the past, doctoring was all about « sitting at patients’ bedside ». Today, it’s basically about staring at a screen. The article is quick to point out that this reflection is not exempt from a certain nostalgic idealization of the past.

I would add that saying that « we have gone from bedside medicine to desktop medicine » as a bit of an ideological dimension to it, too – as far as it relies on a technodeterministic meta-narrative (« computer-mediated communication is superseding face-to-face social interaction », « machine automation replace human labour », « robots will rule the world », and so on). Read more

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Bums, bridges, and primates: Some elements for a sociology of online interactions

This text was presented at the conference “Web Culture: New Modes of Knowledge, New Sociabilities”, Villa Gillet, Lyon (France), February 10th, 2011. Check against delivery. Click here for the .pdf version. Click here for the French translation.

In today’s presentation I will focus on the kind of social structures that users of computer-mediated global online communication networks (notably, the Web and social media) contribute to put in place. The point I will try to make is that science understanding of Web-based sociabilities has progressed enormously in the last decade, and that this should inform public policies touching on the Web, its regulation and governance.


Early glimpses into the social implications of ICT at a micro-level (that is: for the users themselves) date back to the mid-1970s and focus on the negative effect of these technologies. At the very origins of computer culture, we witness the emergence of the stereotype of the socially awkward computer hacker, isolated by the calculating machine which alienates him and keeps him apart from his peers. This characterization dates back to a time before the Web. In his Computer Power and Human Reason : From Judgement to Calculation (1976) Joseph Weizenbaum delivers us the portrayal of this subculture of compulsive computer programmer – or, as he liked to dub them, “computer bums”.

These are “possessed students” who “work until they nearly drop, twenty, thirty hours at a time.  Their food, if they arrange it, is brought to them: coffee, Cokes, sandwiches.  If possible, they sleep on cots near the computer. […] Their rumpled clothes, their unwashed and unshaven faces, and their uncombed hair all testify that they are oblivious to their bodies and to the world in which they move.  They exist, at least when so engaged, only through and for the computers.”

Since this first occurrence, and for a long time, common sense has almost unmistakably associated computer use and social isolation. Cultural analysts, novelists, commentators have been developing on this trope. Iconic cyberpunk author William Gibson, famously described Case, the main character of Neuromancer (1984), as a cyberspace-addict incapable of functioning in an offline social situation.

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Le corps dans les réseaux sociaux : technologie du soi, technologie du nous (slides)

La cinquième séance de mon séminaire EHESS Corps et TIC : approches socio-anthropologiques des usages numériques a eu lieu le vendredi 11 févr. 2011. Le sujet traité : le corps dans les réseaux sociaux en ligne, comment les amis sur Facebook influencent l’apparence physique des utilisateurs, comment le choix de la photo d’un profil peut avoir un impact sur le capital social en ligne. Voici, comme d’habitude, les slides.

La prochaine (et dernière séance) est prévue pour jeudi 24 février 2011 (17h, salle 5, 105 Bd Raspail). Il y sera question de jouissance et sexe en ligne. Pour s’inscrire, il suffit de m’envoyer un petit mail gentil.

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E-Santé : Résistance, autonomie et environnements apomédiés

La quatrième séance de mon séminaire EHESS Corps et TIC : approches socio-anthropologiques des usages numériques a eu lieu le jeudi 27 janv. 2011. Le sujet traité : e-santé, médecine 2.0, le rôle des professionnels de santé, des collectifs de militants des droits des patients et des pouvoirs étatiques. Voici, comme d’habitude, les slides.

ATTENTION CHANGEMENT DE DATE : La prochaine séance (où il sera question de corps dans les médias sociaux) aura exceptionnellement lieu le VENDREDI 11 février 2011 de 17h à 19h en SALLE 2, EHESS, 105 bd Raspail 75006 Paris. Pour s’inscrire, il suffit de m’envoyer un petit mail gentil.

E sante – Résistance, autonomie et environnements apomédiés

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