Clémence JULLIEN

Clémence JULLIEN


Clémence Jullien has been a CNRS research fellow in anthropology in Paris since 2021. Both her research and her teaching have focused on reproductive healthcare in India, analysing particularly the articulations between health policies, narratives of development, gender relationship, and the medicalization of childbirth.

She completed her PhD at the University Paris Nanterre in 2016 while being a Lecturer at the Advanced School of Social Sciences (EHESS) between 2014 and 2016 in Paris. In her thesis dissertation, she explains how reproductive health constitutes a growing subject of concern in India. In addition to the high maternal and infant mortality rates—which the central government has been actively trying to curtail since 2005—, India is facing significant demographic growth, a political instrumentalization of the fertility rate differences of Hindus compared to Muslims and a persistent imbalance of the infantile sex-ratio. Based on a study of almost a year and a half in a public obstetrics hospital and slums located in the outskirt of Jaipur (Rajasthan), she shows that the decisions regarding reproductive health are the result of prepossessions made up of individual aspirations, family resolutions, medical recommendations and national norms—all of which are often divergent and difficult to reconcile.
This dissertation has been awarded in 2017-2018 by three thesis award: the “Prix de la Chancellerie” (Aguirre Basualdo), the “Prix d’Anthropologie Médicale Appliquée à la Santé et au Développement” (AMADES) as well as by the “Prix GIS Asie”. Her work resulted in several publications, including a book Du bidonville à l’hôpital: Nouveaux enjeux de la maternité au Rajasthan.

She then carried out post-doctoral research at the University of Zurich, in Switzerland between 2017 and 2021, at the Chair of Prof. Johannes Quack at the Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies (ISEK) as well as in a SNF funded project (with Prof. Nicolas Martin) at the Asian and Oriental Institute (AOI).

She is currently working on the so-called crisis of masculinity and marriage in northern India, with a special emphasis on rural Punjab. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Punjab, the aim of her new research project is twofold: to apprehend how the experience of involuntary celibacy is experienced differently and to understand the extent to which the lack of potential brides incites men and their families to reconsider the usual choice norms for a spouse when it comes to social class, caste membership and religious affiliation.


Du bidonville à l’hôpital. Nouveaux enjeux de la maternité au Rajasthan, Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l’homme, 2019.

Purushartha. L’hôpital en Asie du Sud. Politiques de santé, pratiques de soin, n°36, 2019 (with B. Lefebvre et F. Provost).

« ‘‘Alors, à qui la faute ?’’ Mort périnatale et accusations croisées dans une maternité au Rajasthan (Inde) », L’Homme, n° 223-224, 2017, p. 131-160.

« Dealing with Impurities of Childbirth. Contemporary Reconfiguration of Disgust in India », Skepsi, vol 8, 2017, p. 39-51.

« ‘Tu veux que ton enfant meure ?’ La santé materno-infantile mise à mal : tensions et accusations intercommunautaires à Jaipur », in D. Memmi, G. Raveneau, E. Taïeb, eds, Le social à l’épreuve du dégoût, 2016, PUR, Rennes, p. 91-106.

« L’accouchement en Inde : une affaire d’État ? », Le Journal des Anthropologues, n° 140-141, 2015, p. 250-280.

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