Vulnérabilités sociales et changement d'échelle. L’espace compte !

Abstract : If social vulnerability characterizes and impacts life at the individual scale, social structures enables its consequences to mitigate or amplify it, acting as a catalyst. How can a geographer be useful at this stage? A first answer could be obvious: providing a geography of vulnerable population, a description of their location, underlining the existence of hotspots of vulnerability… are always relevant to tackle some issues. Geographers can play with scales and spatializing as well as visualizing social phenomena. It allows to understand better their determinants and implications. The purpose of the article is then to go further, adding a second answer, less often highlighted than this one: space could play a significant role in the vulnerability process. Indeed, we consider that individual vulnerability - vertically integrated into groups, social structures, territorial units etc., is also partly or fully incorporated according to a spatial dimension, horizontally defined. The vulnerability of two individuals, all things being equal regarding their social integration, could be different according to their location and especially their environment. In other words, the living space of individuals is an actor of their vulnerability and should be analysed as such [Cutter and Finch, 2008]. We propose therefore to tackle the spatial analysis of vulnerability through the development of the following concept: « spatial poverty trap » [Jalan and Ravallion, 1997]. We describe how this expression highlights the complex scale game between population and territory in the vulnerability process. We illustrate our position by using the example of an urban case study in the field of public health: the risk of malaria infection in Dakar.
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Marion Borderon, Sébastien Oliveau. Vulnérabilités sociales et changement d'échelle. L’espace compte !. Espace Populations Sociétés, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 2016, 2016 (3). ⟨halshs-01505522⟩

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