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The 20th Biennial ESHMS Conference

Antwerp, Belgium

Date: Wednesday 3 to Friday 5 July 2024
PhD workshop: 2 July 2024
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Organiser: Sarah Van de Velde (University of Antwerp), Veerle Buffel (Free University Brussels), and Nina Van Eekert (University of Antwerp)

Previous Conferences

The 19th Biennial ESHMS Conference

Date: 25-27 August 2022

Location: Forlì Campus of University of Bologna, Italy

Website of the Conference

Healthscapes. Shaping the future of the post-pandemic society

Covid-19 was a disruptive event, leaving no part of society left untouched. A ‘global social fact,’ blurring both geographic and political boundaries—the effects of which will be felt for years to come. Hit hardest were those already in precarious social standing: the poor and the vulnerable. The notion of a syndemic has been used to describe this grim interaction of virus and embodied health inequality.

The organization of care has shown all its limitations, especially where solid community health structures were absent. Many chronically ill patients and their families are still living through dire situations.

The future will be dominated by risk. Covid-19 has shown our vulnerability to viruses. We will live in a more surveilled society, and we will have to acclimate ourselves to new forms of prevention. It is no coincidence that worrying forms of health populism have arisen from this shift.  

In this context, what can the sociology of health offer in terms of analysis, research perspectives, and operational proposals? How can research evidence be translated into viable policy, and how can the sociological imagination shape a more equitable and secure future?  

The scientific and programme committees are at work on the practicalities of a conference where we hope to welcome you to exercise your sociological imagination on medical sociological matters.    

Antonio Maturo

Member of the Executive Board of the ESHMS

Full Professor of Medical Sociology at the University of Bologna

17th biennial congress of the ESHMS

Old tensions, emerging paradoxes in health: rights, knowledge, and trust

Date: from Thursday 7 June to Friday 8 June 2018

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

The theme of the congress was ‘Old pensions, emerging paradoxes in health: rights, knowledge, and trust’.

Website of the Conference

16th biennal congress of the ESHMS

Healthy lives: technologies, policies and experiences

Date: from Monday 27 to Wednesday 29 June 2016

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Contact: Claudine Burton-Jeangros, Department of Sociology, University of Geneva, Bd du Pont d’Arve, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland

The theme of the congress was ‘Healthy lives: technologies, policies and experiences’.

15th biennial congress of the ESHMS

Health and Welfare Challenges in Europe: East, West, North and South

Date: from Thursday 28 August 2014 to Saturday 30 August 2014

Location: Helsinki

The theme of the congress was ‘Health and Welfare Challenges in Europe: East, West, North and South”.

14th biennial congress of the ESHMS

The 14th biennal congress of the ESHMS

Health inequalities over the life course

Date: from Thursday 30 August 2012 to Saturday 1 September 2012

Location: Hannover, Germany

With the choice of the theme “Health inequalities over the life course” the congress shall present the present state of life-course oriented research and contribute to its further development.

13th biennial congress of the ESHMS

Health and Well-Being in Radically Changing Societies

Date: from Thursday 26 August 2010 to Saturday 28 August 2010

Location: Ghent University, Belgium

Contact: Piet Bracke, Department of Sociology, Ghent University, Korte Meer 5, 9000 Gent, Belgium

There has been a significant heightening of the importance of the issues of mental health and wellbeing in Europe and elsewhere. In all advanced economies, mental health conditions are expected in the near future to be the most important determinants of the quality of life of those directly or indirectly involved. To better understand both personal and societal consequences, the 2010 congress of the ESHMS focused on the social and cultural conditions affecting the health and subjective wellbeing of the population in general and of vulnerable minorities more specifically. The present financial and economic crisis; the opportunities and pitfalls of the transition to market economies in former communist countries; changes in the gendered division of care and employment are but some of the relevant societal transformations.

The congress provided a forum for presentation of sociologically informed research and for discussions regarding the social embeddedness of health and subjective wellbeing. from conceptualizing wellbeing or mental health, to exploring related concepts alienation. Other topics within the scope of the conference included also the organization of mental health services; deinstitutionalization and rehabilitation; the stigma of mental illness; the role of therapists in society; and the Western focus on the self as a pillar of mental health and wellbeing.

12th biennial congress of the ESHMS

Health and Wealth in East and West – Divergence and Convergence in Europe

Date: from Friday 28 August 2009 to Sunday 30 August 2009

Location: Oslo, Norway

This conference focused on recent social and economic changes affecting health and health care in European countries, with a specific focus on the East/West divide as well as on social disparities within the two parts of Europe.

11th biennial congress of the ESHMS

European Health: Old and new challenges-Tackling Health Inequalities

Date: from Thursday 31 August to Friday 1 September 2006

Location: Krakow, Poland

The Department of Medical Sociology of the Jagiellonian University Medical College were the local organizers.

3rd Special Interest Meeting ESHMS

3rd Special Interest Meeting ESHMS

Europe in a Global Perspective

Date: from Thursday 3 September 2015 to Friday 4 September 2015

Location: Trondheim

2nd Special Interest Meeting ESHMS

2nd Special Interest Meeting ESHMS

Comparative Research in Health Sociology and Social Epidemiolgy

Date: from Thursday 20 June 2013 to Friday 21 June 2013

Location: Ghent, Belgium

A special interest meeting on comparative research in health sociology and social epidemiology.

(This section will be continuously updated)