Disputes about the Reality of a Health Trouble

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 12:45
Oral Presentation
Aymeric LUNEAU, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturel, Paris, France
On the 19th of October 2010, an article of Chemical Sensitivity Network reported that a child “with MCS” had said: “I wish I had a cancer because at least my condition would be recognized.” This quote in itself illustrates the question which my paper deals with: why people who suffer from “multiple chemical sensitivity” have difficulties to draw the attention of others on their condition.

Relying on my PhD research, I will show that the lack of attention to MCS stems from a “collective inquiry” which does not progress. Since, there is not scientific agreement that the MCS syndrome is a chemical-induced disorders, the sincerity of MCS people and the reality of their troubles are questioned by their relatives, their friends or their physicians. Therefore, discussions with MCS people turn into dispute (Dascal 2010), since actors are not able to reach a common definition of the situation. In this way, I will assume that we need to pay attention to the feelings of “victims”, but also the feelings of those who listen their “testimony” in order to understand why MCS people have difficulties to keep a “space of expression” related to their condition open.