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Radiologies camerounaises : approche anthropotechnologique du travail dans deux services d'imagerie médicale au Cameroun

ContributorsMabillard, Nicolasorcid
Number of pages108
Defense date2014-09-16

This Master's thesis in anthropotechnology defended at the University of Neuchâtel's Institute of Ethnology is the result of a six months long qualitative field research conducted in Bangangté and Yaoundé, Cameroon. It is based on direct observation of the ways in which teams of medical imaging technicians work in two large scale hospitals. The two medical structures were selected because they represent a relevant range of work practices in the country.

The empirical data's analysis shows that radiographic efficiency in these two hospitals undergo five ‘translation' stages – in Callon's definition of the concept – which display the minimal technical and social requirements involved in the technician's work routine. The five stages – ‘the patient's reception', ‘the patient's positioning', ‘the patient as a subject to be radiographed', ‘the X-ray's development' and ‘the patient in contrast with the available stock of X-rays that can be developed in a month' – are mediated by coping strategies implemented by the technicians according to their experience of their work environment. Some of these tricks are mandatory and are a tacit part of what is required of the technicians; they allow the medical imaging departments observed to remain operational. Others aim to speed up the team's work flow.

Outside the hospital, X-ray images are used by traditional practitioners named ‘mbembela': some specialize in the healing of fractures. These practitioners, who receive their knowledge through initiation, are part of the Cameroonian therapeutic market in which patients find their way with the help of their relatives, family or neighborhood acquaintances. They also balance their therapeutic choices according to their social representations of conventional medicine. They are not limited to the hospital on their therapeutic journey where several options compete according to their needs and their means of action.

  • Anthropologie
  • Anthropologie des sciences et des techniques
  • Anthropologie médicale
  • Anthropotechnologie
  • Cameroun
  • Imagerie médicale
  • Yaoundé
  • Anthropology
  • Anthropotechnology
  • Bangangté
  • Cameroon
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Medical Imaging
  • Science and Technology Studies
NoteDiplôme décerné par Univ. Neuchâtel
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
MABILLARD, Nicolas. Radiologies camerounaises : approche anthropotechnologique du travail dans deux services d’imagerie médicale au Cameroun. 2014.
Main files (1)
Master thesis
  • PID : unige:164847

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