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Pomona College

Publication Date

Fall 2016

Program Name

Morocco: Multiculturalism and Human Rights


Morocco is a country of distinct diversity, which exists as a result of the settling of multiple peoples and European colonization. As a result of this diversity, many languages are employed in different settings and spaces, and of these languages, French represents remnants of colonialism and continual elitism in the country. One of the spheres that French commands in Moroccan society is medicine, which creates a dichotomy between the educated health care providers and the underprivileged patients in public hospitals. The aim of this paper is to explore the effect of French on the doctor-patient relationship in urban, public Moroccan hospitals. Through secondary research and personal interviews, it will outline the understanding of the language situation in hospitals from the point of view of both the doctors and the patients, describe the effect of French on patients’ understanding of healthcare, and explore the impact of French on patients’ agency within the medical system. Ultimately, this paper aims to shed light on the intersections of culture, history, and medicine in order to explore avenues for process.


African Studies | Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics | Community Health | French and Francophone Language and Literature | Health Communication | Health Policy | Inequality and Stratification | Medicine and Health | Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Public Health


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