International Encyclopaedia
of the Histories of Anthropology

Martine Segalen (1940-2021) is a French ethnologist and specialist on France, sociology and the anthropology of kinship and family, and contemporary European societies. After graduating from the Institut d’études politiques in 1960, she began a career in fashion and promoting French food products in New York. A trip to Mexico City made her decide to change her professional orientation. Back in France in 1966, she studied for a degree in ethnology. She was hired by Georges Henri Rivière at the Musée national des arts et traditions populaires (MNATP) and worked with Mariel Jean-Brunhes Delamarre on the publication of the works of a collective and interdisciplinary survey in the French region of Aubrac. She joined CNRS in 1971 and directed the Centre d’ethnologie française at the MNATP from 1986 to 1996 before becoming professor of sociology at the University of Nanterre, where she ended her career. She directed the journal Ethnologie française from 2006 to 2017. Through her numerous personal works (including Quinze générations de bas bretons : parenté et société dans le pays bigouden sud (1720-1980), her doctoral research, published in 1985) and the collective works she has (co-)directed (among them Historical Anthropology of the Family translated into many languages and Sociology of the Family, regularly republished), she has contributed to the recognition and influence of French ethnology.

Keywords: Anthropology of Europe | Anthropology of France | Family and kinship | Musée national des arts et traditions populaires