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ISEK - Institut für Sozialanthropologie und Empirische Kulturwissenschaft Ethnologie

Edmée Ballif

Edmée Ballif, Dr.

  • Postdoktorandin

Research interests

reproduction, gender and family, public health, food and nutrition, environment and pollution

Research area


Short bio

Edmée Ballif is a medical anthropologist and sociologist with a focus on public health, particularly in the domains of parenting advice and nutrition. Her research explores the social construction of "good" parents in public health programs, uncovering how social inequalities are produced and transformed. In April 2024, Ballif joined ISEK as a postdoctoral researcher, leading her research project "Nutritional reproduction: Uncovering reproductive imaginaries in child nutritional advice." This project, funded by an SNSF Return Postdoc.Mobility grant, investigates how nutritional guidelines for children in Switzerland reproduce social inequalities and sociocentric ideas of what a "good" life entails, especially in relation to environmental concerns.

Prior to her appointment at ISEK, Ballif obtained her PhD from the University of Lausanne in 2017. Her doctoral dissertation was based on an ethnography of a novel form of prenatal care in Switzerland that focuses on the psychological and practical aspects of pregnancy, complementing traditional medical care. Her analysis critically examined how the surveillance of reproductive subjects by healthcare professionals extends to the whole life of pregnant patients in the context of psychosocial care, producing stratified norms of pregnant behavior. After completing her PhD, Ballif held several postdoctoral research positions, leading projects on the role of food and nutrition in the social production of stratified notions of good parenting at the University of Cambridge, University College London, and Rutgers University.