i3, une unité mixte de recherche CNRS (UMR 9217)

Institut Interdisciplinaire de l'Innovation

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Posted on 28 September 2020

Homme avec un masque

Invisible" people fall off the mask

Authors: Gérard Gaglio, professor of sociology at the University of the Côte d'Azur, Alexandre Mallard, sociologist and director of the CSI, and Franck Cochoy, professor of sociology and researcher at the LISST CNRS.

The Covid-19 crisis has given rise to a variety of experiences in the world of work. But what about the low skilled professionals, these "first of drudgery" to whom little attention is generally given?

Some are hired caregivers on a daily basis, but are at the lower end of the prestige scale in this sector. Others are delivery drivers, garbage collectors, cashiers, salespeople, maintenance workers... All of them are "invisible" people, who are usually seen without really seeing them.

Their missions are now proving to be indispensable in keeping an economic and social life afloat, which has been sorely tested by the pandemic. We wanted to understand how the health mask is penetrating their world, offering an original insight into their experience of the current crisis.

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Extending the "life expectancy" of the mask, or how caregivers have made up for the shortage

300 caregivers testified to the shortage of protective masks in the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak, and to the circumvention measures developed to keep them working despite it. An article produced as part of the Maskovid study, by Cédric Calvignac, lecturer in sociology, University of Toulouse (INUC), member of CERTOP-CNRS.

Homme entrant dans une pharmacieOn April 10, 2020, in the article "Covid-19: here is how you can help research progress", Sciences et Avenir echoed a sociological study conducted by the Universities of Toulouse and Nice and the Ecole des Mines de Paris. The part of the "Maskovid" survey devoted to the feedback from caregivers alone collected 300 testimonies: the analysis of the first 120 allowed the writing of this text by one of the leaders of this study, Cédric Calvignac, lecturer in sociology at the University of Toulouse.Covid-19 

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What does wearing a mask change in the caregiver-patient relationship?

Authors: Cédric Calvignac, sociologist, Certop-CNRS and researchers from the universities of Toulouse, Nice and the École des mines de Paris.

In recent weeks, the systematic use of masks by healthcare professionals has changed the care-giver-care relationship. What changes are at work? What are the reactions of patients to the use of masks by health care providers? How do caregivers support their patients during this anxiety-provoking period? How do they manage to show empathy and support despite the mask they wear?

Are there more worrying situations where care is prevented - or at least made more difficult - by the mask? The first results of a sociological survey shed some light on these questions.

With colleagues from the universities of Toulouse, Nice and the École des Mines de Paris, I am currently participating in a sociological survey called "Maskovid" on the use of masks during the pandemic. This survey includes a section dedicated to the collection of testimonials from healthcare personnel. The accounts thus obtained are very valuable: they give an inside view of the way in which health professionals (medical and paramedical) organized themselves, mobilized, and reinvented themselves in a situation of shortage during which the material and human resources essential to the proper administration of care are cruelly lacking. To date, nearly 300 testimonials have been collected and will be the subject of in-depth treatment in the coming months.

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But where do the masks of ordinary passers-by come from?

In the street, at the supermarket, by car... Where do the masks on the faces of some passers-by come from despite the difficulties of supply? If some French people give them up to leave them to the caretakers, others use them to protect themselves and others. The sociologist Franck Cochoy takes stock of a research in progress.

With researchers from the universities of Toulouse, Nice and the École des Mines de Paris, we have begun a study on the use of masks during the pandemic. The French National Research Agency is contributing to this study. Our call for testimonials was relayed by three major regional daily newspapers: La Dépêche du Midi, La Montagne and Nice Matin. These testimonials were collected on the spot, in the heart of the containment, at the peak of the epidemic and the shortage of masks, in record time (more than 2500 detailed testimonials covering the whole of France obtained between April 3 and 10 only!).

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