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Les médecins au Cambodge. Entre élite sociale traditionnelle et groupe professionnel moderne sous influence étrangère

Abstract : Until now, social science research has focused mainly on Western medical doctors with few attention to physicians in other parts of the world. This research intends to contribute to the anthropological knowledge of the medical profession, by describing the specific case of Cambodia, which is a traditional society undergoing drastic social changes. This work includes three parts. The first one gives an historical perspective of the various Cambodian regimes, their ideologies and policies/implementations related to public health since the French protectorate (1863) until the United Nations Transitional Authority (1993). Under each regime, the Cambodian doctors have adapted themselves to specific social and political situations generated by the historical turmoils, including the Khmer Rouge regime.
In the second part, the Cambodian medical profession is analyzed in the present days with special interest in their social position and general characteristics in the years following the Pol Pot regime. The whole medical and therapeutic field is also described, including modern as well as traditional and "neo-traditional" practitioners who offer various medical services to Cambodian people beside the modern physicians. It appears that "neo-traditional" healers have benefitted the most from the recent social changes (liberalization, state-sponsored "legitimate tradition" in the 1980s).
The last part provides a view of the field work material gathered in various hospitals of Cambodia. Medical activity carried out in those hospitals are analyzed as negociations between the Cambodian staff and their Western counterparts from NGOs (nurses and doctors) who provide hospital with a medical support. The daily interactions between all individuals involved in medical work (including patients) show confrontations and potential conflicts between Western and Cambodian values (professional as well as cultural ones). The main features of the present Cambodian medical profession is finaly analyzed (e.g. medical authority and ethics, patient/doctor's relationship, official and unofficial distribution of duties between nurse, doctors and patients).
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Contributor : Anne Yvonne Guillou <>
Submitted on : Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 4:50:58 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 3:38:26 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 1:37:27 AM



  • HAL Id : tel-00136905, version 1


Anne Yvonne Guillou. Les médecins au Cambodge. Entre élite sociale traditionnelle et groupe professionnel moderne sous influence étrangère. Anthropologie sociale et ethnologie. Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), 2001. Français. ⟨tel-00136905⟩



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