September 20th, Thursday, 2007, Ip nº 208

Inconsistency and lack of criticism Versión en Español
By Mercedes Rojas Machado

This year, Rachid Bouhia, Head of the Research Division and Demographic Studies of the Insee (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies of France) has undertaken a piece of research on the relation between the mortality risk and the marital situation, based on the French census carried out in 1999 and 2004. His extended version, Family profiles exposure to mortality risk, shows a curious resemblance to an essay quoted just there: Social and family mortality differences at productive ages: Which are the differences between women and men?(1), written by Isabelle Robert-Bobée and Christian Monteil in 2003. In fact, on reading this essay, one may doubt about Bouhia's piece of writing; basically everything included in his research was carried out deeply and in greater detail by the authors mentioned before (far from being totally satisfactory).

The phenomenon is covered from a superficial and short-sighted perspective, even more, if we take into account the universalization and the extrapolation of data which is only collected from France. None of these authors took into account the official statistics or reports from other countries in order to demonstrate said worldwide relation. We are in front of a semantic fallacy that pretends to hinder a critic view about the family and the couple, acting in detriment to the visualization of its crisis as a social institution. It attempts to hide its gaps, its ruptures and its inability to satisfy the individual needs in general and collective terms.

Beyond the questionable efficiency of the social sciences when offering impartial perspectives on reality, the epistemological and methodological budgets of said research, fortunately take us directly to an extreme scepticism. An institution such as the Insee, which prides itself on promoting scientific knowledge, should not forget that the family is a social structure with specific aims within the central culture, it keeps a structural connection with the social organization, it expresses social problems and it is developed by social relations themselves. The supposed “protective role of the couple” “in all times and all cultures”(2), does not let us notice the complexity of social-cultural phenomena, it does not take into consideration the generational and cultural changes the family has gone through over the history, its re-significance and the importance within the modern states, specially the French State. The most important bias of the lines of research previously mentioned is evidenced in its anachronistic perspective and in the naturalization of the not very innocent social constructions that leave the individual with scarce possibilities of carrying out autonomous plans. The concept of family involves, in its external subordination, structural and practical aspects that govern a society with certain rules.

Within a context in which the irresponsible strategies of the states and a whole group of “scientists” find useful and effective channels to hinder an assimilation of the independent reality, it is important to strengthen our scepticism, not only faced with the scientific research, but also in front of the media, specially in distorted and tendentious coverage. This written material was published by countless means of communication all over the world; the newspaper “Clarín” from Argentina published this article in the society pages: “It is proved that living together extends life”. The Arab News coverage was even more audacious and calamitous: “Health Advice to All Single Men: Get Married!”; Le Monde from France publishes: “a line of research of the Insee, published on Wednesday, shows the link between marital situation and mortality”. According to the author, Rachid Bouhia, the parents of two children are the champions of longevity”(3). Clearly, there appears a total shallowness of critic thought towards the products of certain institutions which hide their pragmatism under the deceptive veil of the scientific pretension.

(1) Original heading: Différentiels sociaux et familiaux de mortalité aux âges actifs: quelles différences entre les femmes et les hommes?

(2) Have a look at Monteil C. et Robert-Bobée I. (2003), Différentiels sociaux et familiaux de mortalité aux âges actifs : quelles différences entre les femmes et les hommes ?, Economie et Statistique, à paraître. Pages. 20-21.

(3) “Une étude de l'Insee, publiée mercredi, établit des liens entre situation conjugale et mortalité. Selon l'auteur, Rachid Bouhia, les parents de deux enfants sont les champions de la longévité”

  September 19th, 2007. Independent Perspective,

The manipulation of culture by other means, by Carlos Lavagnino.

The world is complex and it changes, such an obvious thing. Luckily, for the restless ones and for those who seek to understand and live what it happens in all honesty... More


Me recuerda al capítulo de Sex & The City donde a Samantha le detectan cáncer de mama:

Samantha: I don't this happened to me?
Dr: Could be geneteics, but since there's no breast cancer in your family it could be a variety of factors: diet, lifestyle choices...
Samantha: Lifestyle choices?!
Dr:...Some studies have shown women who haven't had children have an increase chance of getting it.
Samantha: I I brought this on myself
Samantha: ... like it's my fault! I shouldn't be punished for not having kids, I should be rewarded! since when did kids become the get-out-of-cancer free card!? He's basically saying that I'm a whore who deserves quimo! 
ana, 20/09/2007 16:27

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