Projets achevés

Groupe de recherche sur la démographie anthropologique de la santé

Axe 2 - Migration, Pouvoir, Développement

Responsables scientifiques

PETIT Véronique
KREAGER Philip, Oxford School of Anthropology


Membres du CEPED participant au projet

Membres extérieurs au CEPED participant au projet

  • Jean-Yves Le Hesran, UMR MERIT
  • Carine Baxerres, UMR MERIT



For more than four decades, fertility and reproductive health have been the primary focus of anthropological and demographic collaboration. Over this period, however, a body of combined research has gradually been built on a much wider range of health issues. A shortlist would include : major current and potential epidemiological trends (malaria, AIDS, obesity, influenza, TB, cholera, ebola, etc.) ; infant, child and maternal morbidity/mortality ; nutrition ; mental health ; and population ageing. The balance of attention to reproduction has also begun to change, in consequence both of renewed attention to endemic infertility and childlessness (linked variously to AIDS, pathological sterility, sex work, circumcision practices, and social and age-structural constraints), and genetic and related medical developments (notably IVF and other new reproductive technologies). In the same period, medical, demographic and social historians, often drawing on anthropological theory and perspectives, have documented the crucial role of local understanding in the successful implementation of past public health interventions.

The objectives of the research group is to bring together an interdisciplinary group of innovative researchers whose work combines anthropological and demographic thinking on these topics ; The five specific objectives are :
1. The Necessity of Local Understanding in Public Health Reform : A Short History. Historical case studies will show how and why, in European and colonial history, improvements in national mortality and health were shaped by concerted attempts to collect data on local health conditions and to understand – often very incompletely and imperfectly – the social, cultural and economic circumstances underlying them.
2. Techniques du Corps. Anthropological demography and epidemiology provide essential methods and perspectives that enable the findings of medical anthropologists to be utilised at community and wider population levels. Following Marcel Mauss’s classic formulation, attention to specific bodily practices enables the structure of local knowledge and practice to be compared to biomedical, genetic and other scientifically driven procedures, and their implications contrasted. Case studies will address how the social construction of diet, circumcision, reproduction, and gender play a role in constituting and contesting personal and group identities, and their consequences in differing demographic and health outcomes.
3. Life-Course Analyses. Continuing the bottom-up approach of previous sessions, it is helpful to situate bodily practices of health and healing in the context of individual and family life courses, thus addressing sub-populations at successive infant and child, childbearing, and ageing stages of life.
4. Anthropological Demography and Epidemiology. This will address (a.) problems of measurement and modelling that require close attention in combined demographic and anthropological research ; and (b.) examples combining anthropological and demographic thinking in the context of medical programmes addressed to mental illness, reproductive health, and AIDS.


Anthropologie ; Démographie ; Santé.

Zones géographiques

Asie, Afrique, Europe.


  • 2016 - 2019


courriel : yves.charbit chez
courriel : veronique.petit chez

Résultats et valorisation

Articles et livre de synthèse à paraître (2018-2020)