Université de Strasbourg

David Le Breton reflects on the COVID-19 crisis

04 May 2020

What are the effects of this unprecedented period of the COVID-19 epidemic on our social relations and on the way we experience the world, with social distancing and confinement, being isolated and hyperconnected at the same time? The media asked this question of David Le Breton, Chair of Anthropology of Contemporary Worlds at USIAS, who has been observing the human body and what it says about our societies for more than thirty years. You will find an overview of interviews below.

Confinement elderlyConfinement of the elderly: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" (Le Temps, 23 April 2020)

Are we doing too much, for how long, and to save whom? As an expert on the question of risk, the author and sociology professor David Le Breton answers the questions of Le Temps.


Giving a value to time (Le Figaro, 21 April 2020)

"Time is money," Benjamin Franklin used to say. From the 19th century onwards, and increasingly in the 20th century, we have entered an era in which production and efficiency are more important than anything else, and time should not be “wasted”. However during confinement the obligation is to not do things, and time becomes free from opportunity costs, as the obligations of work and social life are severely diminished for many. David Le Breton reflects on this.

For the vast majority, confinement is a great personal suffering (Mediapart, 13 April 2020)

“The confinement, which is about to be extended into May, is a stressful experience that can have a significant impact on health in the months and years to come, warns sociologist and anthropologist David Le Breton.”

Dealing with the tensions of confinement with adolescents (France Culture, 9 April 2020)

teenagers distance learning

What resources are needed to supervise school work, manage authority relations, and deal with the anxieties and the desire for transgression of adolescents in a period of confinement? The question is posed to sociologist and anthropologist David Le Breton, author of several writings on adolescence and risky behaviours, and of the book Le Rire: une anthropologie du rire (Métailié, 2018).

The exposure to noise and silence is very unequal (Le Monde, 1 April 2020)

The neuroscientist Michel Le Van Quyen and the anthropologist David Le Breton analyse the effects of the eruption of silence during the confinement, but also the confrontation with noise.

Covid19 social contact

Coronavirus: what will happen to “la bise” after containment? (France Inter, 26 March 2020)

"La bise could be a victim of this period of confinement.”

Confinement reminds us how simple things have an incredible value (Usbek & Rica, 21 March 2020)

covid19 marcher"I think the coronavirus is a kind of memento mori: remember that you're going to die. It is a reminder of order and finitude, of our precariousness, our fragility. The wonderful lesson could be to constantly remind ourselves of what we have almost lost, and therefore that we must live the moment intensely: it is a way of saying "let's enjoy life" rather than being in this cult of speed, of urgency, which contemporary technologies partly produce. And it can become a reconquest to rediscover the taste for life, the feeling of being alive. »

With forced confinement, we will witness a tightening of individualism (La Vie, 18 March 2020)

"The coronavirus crisis will lead to changes in our relationship to the body and in social ties. According to anthropologist David Le Breton, we are experiencing an "anthropological rupture" that may not produce positive results" (David Le Breton).

covid19 social distance


Several interviews with David Le Breton in the context of Covid-19, videos recorded by the Belgian prevention association Yapaka

Reaching out to others during the time of COVID-19:

Laure Adler talks about the book "La saveur du monde. Une anthropologie des sens" (The taste of the world. Anthropology of the senses) by David Le Breton (France Inter, podcast Petite chronique de philosophie, 09/04/20)




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