Anthropology of illness and myth in Laos and in South-East AsiaLength: 1h 06mn 31s 88
Video recording of an interview
Â onÂ vendredi 20 juillet 2007
Â inÂ Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme
54, Boulevard Raspail
Participant(s) Richard Pottier, Interviewee
Professor Tatiana Wenker, Interviewer
UniversitÃ© RenÃ© Descartes, Paris V
Richard Pottier is a professor of ethnology at RenÃ© Descartes University, Paris V, faculty of human and social sciences, Sorbonne. He is a member of the âLanguages, Music, and Societyâ laboratory (mixed research unit 8099), and of the CNRSâ national committee. He works in the fields of the anthropology of illness and myth (myths about rice growing). From 1973 to 1979, he was also a staff member of the WHO while carrying his work on therapeutic practices in Laos.
Health, medical anthropology
Richard Pottier starts this interview by talking about the project developed by the WHO (World Health Organization) and its impacts on the Lao health system. He then runs through his three main academic topics: socio-anthropological research on the Lao health system (subject of his thesis); Lao therapeutic practices as seen according to âmedical anthropologyâ (he refined his approach in his work entitled YÃ DÃ MÃ HÃNG); anthropology of myths through an exposÃ© on the limits of structural anthropology (LÃ©vi-Strauss), psychoanalysis (Freud), and narrative semiotics (Greimas). He then presents the hypotheses put forth in his work entitled "Anthropologie du mythe" (Anthropology of Myth) and closes by talking about the questions for future research his work raises.