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Fainzang Sylvie

Anthropologist, research director, Inserm

Contact: sylvie.fainzang(at)




Following initial research on the management of illness in a West African society, my past research projects have dealt with the interpretation of illness and models of accusation in France; the relationship to sexuality and reproduction in polygamous African families in an immigrant environment; representations of alcoholism and support mechanisms in a group of former alcoholics (Vie libre); social uses of drugs and ways of dealing with medical prescription in groups from different religious cultural backgrounds; patient information; lying in the doctor-patient relationship; and patient independence in the context of self-medication. (There is a detailed presentation of my research career on the site Histrecmed; publication list on

My present research is on actors’ strategies for mastering risks related to taking medicines, and on the social issues of the process of “self-medicalisation”. 

Concomitantly, I am editor-in-chief of the journal Anthropologie & Santé ( and the scientific coordinator of the network Medical Anthropology at Home (

Interview with Sylvie Fainzang (mars 2012)

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