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Lo Seak-Hy

PhD student in Sociology, Paris 11 University


Contact: shl(at)vjf.cnrs.fr

Dissertation title: Putting disabled persons (back) in the workplace: Where medical and medical-social services intersect. A study of the trajectories of persons who have been treated at a physical-medicine and rehabilitation center

Under the supervision of Isabelle Ville

The disability issue is historically founded on unfitness for work associated with a loss of physical capacities. The twentieth century marks a turning point with the emergence of rehabilitation practices aimed at putting disabled persons (back) in the workplace. Successive legislative frameworks have made it possible for the actors (political, medical, and community-based) to achieve professional integration thanks to rehabilitation procedures. Official care and treatment of disabled persons thus became increasingly complex in the twentieth century because care and treatment trajectories became more specialized and diversified. In parallel, the view of social and medical-social care has also evolved significantly in recent years: the person under care is seen as an actor whose capacity to take initiatives and be autonomous is valued. This is thus no longer an assistance issue but one of an individual, mutual contract. It is hence in a context of tensions between incentive to work, right to disability compensation, and an economic situation unfavorable to disabled persons that the disabled build their work plan.

The dissertation explores the ways in which disabled persons’ work plans are built within multiple care schemes, actors, values, and action rationales. It focuses on persons 20 to 60 years old who have been treated at a physical-medicine and rehabilitation (PMR) center and whose disability came about when they were adults. They have a motor disability and sometimes associated disorders. When these persons are afflicted with a disability, they find themselves in specific, complex  medical-social and social care systems because depending on their situation (causes of the disability, employment situation, etc.) when their disability occurred, they have different rights, inducing a variety of different care trajectories.