Obrist, Brigit


Brigit Obrist is Professor in Medical Anthropology working both at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (http://www.swisstph.ch/) and the Department of Social Anthropology of the University of Basel (http://ethnologie.unibas.ch). She is leading the Medical Anthropology Research Group (MARG) (http://ethnologie.unibas.ch/research/medical-anthropology/) and is engaged in developing and strengthening research and teaching partnerships in Africa.


Research Interests

Social resilience; vulnerability; equity; generations; gender; mobility


Research Area(s)

East Africa (Tanzania); Oceania (Papua New Guinea)



2013. (Gross K, Mayumana I, Obrist B) ‘“My wife, you are supposed to have a rest now”: an analysis of norms influencing men’s role in prenatal care in south-eastern Tanzania’. In: Anthropol Med 20: 98-108.

2011. (Obrist B, Pfeiffer C, Henley R) ‘La résilience sociale multi-strates: une nouvelle approche de recherche pour l’adaptation au changement global’. Bern: NCCR North-South.

2010. (Obrist B, Pfeiffer C, Henley R) ‘Multi-layered social resilience: a new approach in mitigation research’. In: Progress in Development Studies 10: 283-293.

2010. ‘Soziale Vulnerabilität im städtischen Kontext: eine medizinethnologische Perspektive’. In: Medizin im Kontext: Krankheit und Gesundheit in einer vernetzten Welt. pp. 411-430. Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang.

2009. ‘The daily governance of environmental health: gender perspectives from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’. In: Blundo, G. and PY. Le Meur (eds.): The Governance of Daily Life in Africa: ethnographic Explorations of Public and Collective Services. pp. 300-315. Leiden: Brill.

2008. (Obrist B., Büchi S.) ‘Stress as an idiom for resilience: health and migration among sub-Saharan Africans in Switzerland’. In: Anthropol Med 15: 251-261.


Conference Presentations

2012. ‘Access to Healthcare – Where to Start and How to Improve It?’ Presentation at the Dissemination Conference ‘Access to Healthcare and Effective Malaria Treatment’, 23 October, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

2012. ‘Who cares for frail elderly? A rural-urban comparison in Tanzania’. Presentation at the 1st IAGG Africa Region Conference on Gerontology and Geriatrics ‘Africa Ageing: Beyond Madrid +10’, 17–20 October, Cape Town, South Africa.

2012. ‘Society, Equity and Health: At the Intersection of Public Health, Social Sciences and Development’. Presentation (with Karin Gross) in the Panel ‘Social Equity and Resilience for Health: Towards Research as Development’ at the 3rd international Conference on Research for Development ‘Research for Global Transformation’, 21 August 2012, University of Bern, Switzerland.