A graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure and a agrégé of philosophy, Maurice Godelier was Claude Lévi-Strauss’s assistant at the Collège de France. In 1975, he was appointed director of studies at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales. His first fieldwork dates back to 1966. He carried out his first ethnographic mission, followed by many others, among the Baruya, a tribe in the Highlands of inland New Guinea. He was one of the pioneers of economic anthropology. His work in this society, where women have no status, also focuses on the strong male domination and, in particular, the rituals that form the basis of internal hierarchies. More recently, Maurice Godelier has focused on anthropological questions that are of interest to all societies, such as the forms and functions of power, kinship and its metamorphoses, and the presence of imaginary nuclei at the heart of social relations. From 1982 onwards, he played an important role in the organisation of French research as director of social and human sciences at the CNRS. In 2001, he was awarded the CNRS Gold Medal for his work. From 1997 to 2000, he was scientific director of the Quai Branly Museum.
« Maurice Godelier. Entretien avec Alain Morel »
“Maurice Godelier. Interview with Alain Morel”, collection “L’Ethnologie en héritage”, n°10, director : Gilles Le Mao ; producers : Gilles Le Mao & Stéphane Jourdain /La Huit, 2018, 180 min.
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