Abstract in English


From one image to another: why and how to study the uses and practices of medical imaging in Dakar

Jean-François Werner

Anthropologue, IRD, UR "socioanthropologie de la santé"

Taking as a pretext ethnographic research recently conducted in Senegal on the utilisation of radiography in scanning tuberculosis patients, the author sets out his reasons for studying medical imaging on the basis of a general inquiry into the role that visual media play in social change and the identify-related dynamics at work in contemporaray African societies. The study's first resuts show that health care providers frequently call on radiography. They share with their patients the same belief in the power of medical imaging to represent reality, whereas this practice es considered of little utility or even harmful by public health professionals involved in tuberculosis control campaigns. The author takes a primary analysis of his data, to discuss the well-foundedness of his initial approach. He brings into evidence the similarities and differences which exist between the visual technologies for medical use and thoses, such as television or photography, which give rise to mass-consumption.

Key-words : image - radiography - risk - Senegal - training - tuberculosis.