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Fansten Maïa

Sociologist, lecturer, Université Paris Cité

Contact: maia.fansten(at)


Publications CV Hal Orcid


In continuitý with my previous work on French psychoanalysis, I am pursuing a reflection on the sociology of mental health by questioning norms, the processes of qualification and appropriation of disorders, the pathways under diagnosis or diagnostic wandering from the point of view of the people concerned and their entourage, professional practices, and the configurations of actors and institutions. I am particularly interested in the way in which 'disorders' are experienced, expressed and inscribed in individual and family life courses and in the way in which the notion of psychological suffering impacts on the perception and treatment of social problems.

For several years, my research interests have focused on objects whose identification and characterisation are the subject of debate, between social problems and mental health issues, between 'psychology' approaches and social science analyses.

This is the case of the phenomenon known as "hikikomori": these new forms of social withdrawal of young people, disinvested and reclusive for several months or years. Within the framework of a collective and interdisciplinary project, we have, based on the exemplary case of the "hikikomori" in Japan, examined in a comparative way the way in which the "social withdrawals" are perceived, named and taken care of in France, Japan and Italy, and tried to understand the collective dynamics that come into play and engage reflections on the family, the school, the care, the digital technologies, the construction of oneself in the era of autonomy.

I am also involved in the collective study on children deemed to be agitated, which focuses on the lives of children designated as agitated and/or inattentive and their families. It seeks to reconstruct the complex dynamics linking territories, families, the worlds of care and school in various cultural, intellectual, institutional and political contexts (France, Chile, Brazil).

In both cases, the approach is comparative and multidisciplinary, bringing together sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, psychiatrists and psychoanalysts. In this spirit, I participate in the international nonconformist network. In addition to pursuing these collaborations in new directions (the question of gender in the disorders of children and young people, for example), I am currently developing a new research project on eco-anxiety, the success of this qualification and its social uses. The aim is both to question the social place of an emotion that has suddenly become particularly visible, by studying the way in which this category is mobilised in the public arena and in scientific discussion; and also to shed light on the meanings, experiences and uses of this qualification by investigating young people who say they are eco-anxious and those around them (siblings, parents, grandparents), thus questioning the social variations in the appropriation, use and effects of eco-anxiety.

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Centre de recherche, médecine, sciences, santé, santé mentale, société
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