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(Dé)classer la "médecine populaire" en Suisse: de la suspicion de charlatanisme à la reconnaissance patrimoniale

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2013
Author PERRIN Julie,
Project Intangible Cultural Heritage: The Midas Touch?
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Anthropologie et Santé
Volume (Issue) 6
Page(s) 1 - 18
Title of proceedings Anthropologie et Santé
DOI 10.4000/anthropologiesante.1076

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


By characterizing Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) as a "mainspring of cultural diversity", UNESCO has demonstrated its will to recognize marginalized cultural practices. However, the identification process conducted by the countries involved in the framework of the 2003 Convention tends to exclude certain expressions of ICH. In the context of its implementation in Switzerland, this study explores the heritagization of practices related to "folk medicine". Drawing on an ethnographic approach, it accounts for the socio-historical trajectory of this category and the ways heritage-making involves diverse adjustments of these practices. Practices are adjusted and adapted to international standards and incorporated within hegemonic cultural representations. The study concludes that the requalification of these practices within a heritage logic mirrors the formal health system and reproduces medical hierarchies.