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Dr Baptiste Brossard



Baptiste Brossard is a sociologist currently working in the areas of critical mental health and historical sociology.

After studying sociology, anthropology and history at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris and School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, he worked at the University of Montreal as a postdoctoral researcher before obtaining his first position at the Australian National University in 2016. He then joined the Department of Sociology of the University of York in January 2022.

Baptiste works at the crossroad of three intellectual traditions, micro-sociology (inspired by symbolic interactionism and Goffman), critical sociology (influenced by Bourdieu’s approach to embodiment and social positioning) and historical sociology (eg Elias and long-term processes). His previous studies mainly focused on self-harm, Alzheimer's disease, and the legacy of Charles H. Cooley, of whom he is the first translator into French. His last book, co-written with Amy Chandler, proposes a critical review of the sociology of mental health: Explaining Mental Illness (Bristol University Press, 2022).

Baptiste’s current research agenda pursues two directions:
- Critical mental health, through a series of research projects developing alternative understandings of mental health issues (such as behavioural addictions, depression, or trauma) in light of their socioecological contexts.
- Historical sociology, through several research projects aiming at historicising how interactions occur in everyday life and how thoughts are acted upon at a micro level since the eighteenth century in the West (eg, a history of blushing).

Baptiste is the co-convener of the British Sociological Association mental health study group and a member of the editorial board of the journal Sociology.


Selected publications

Brossard, B. and Amy Chandler. 2022. Explaining Mental Illness. Bristol: Bristol University Press.

Brossard, B. and Gary A. Fine. 2021. ‘The problem of Pétain: The state politics of difficult reputations’, Sociological Perspectives. Online first.

Brossard, B. 2019. ‘Why mental disorders flourish and wither: Extending Hacking’s theory of ecological niches’, Social Sciences and Medicine: 112445.

Brossard, B. 2019. Forgetting Items: The Social Experience of Dementia. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press.

Brossard, B. and Natalia Ruiz-Junco. 2019. Updating Charles H. Cooley: Contemporary Perspectives on a Sociological Classic. London: Routledge.

Brossard, B. 2018. Why do We Hurt Ourselves: Understanding Self-Harm in Social Life. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press.

Contact details

Dr Baptiste Brossard
Department of Sociology LMB/236
University of York
YO10 5GD