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Viviane Cretton

Professor at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Viviane Cretton is Professor at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Applied Sciences and Arts, (HES-SO Valais Wallis) in Sierre, West Switzerland.


She completed her PhD in Social Sciences (UNIL/EHESS), specialising in Ethnology, in 2005, after realising long-term fieldwork regarding customary chieftainship within the context of recent democracy on the islands of Fiji . Her thesis focused on contemporary practices of political reconciliation that involve the symbolic ritualised exchange of highly-valuable objects as gifts. In parallel, she has also undertaken several academic residencies in Australia, Fiji, (University of the South Pacific) and France (Centre de Recherche et de Documentation sur l’Océanie).


Since 2009, Viviane has been producing anthropological studies at home, carrying out fieldwork on new Alpine migrations in Valais. From 2011 to 2012, she led a multidisciplinary research project on contemporary migrant routes to mountain villages in collaboration with the Regional Centre of Alpine Population Studies (based in Valais, Sembrancher). Since 2017, she has been conducting a long-term comparative fieldwork study on current migration in four mountain tourist regions funded by the Swiss National Funds for Scientific Research (2017-2020) entitled Becoming Local in Mountain Areas: Diversification, gentrification, cohabitation, which compares the Swiss Alps and Spanish Pyrenees (FNS: 10001A_172807).


Viviane Cretton, Haute Ecole de Travail social, HES-SO Valais Wallis, Sierre, Suisse,



Selected publications:


  • Cretton Viviane. 2018, « In search of a better world in the Swiss Alps. Lifestyle migration, quality of life, gentrification »: 105-125, in H. Horáková, A. Boscoboinik et R. Smith (dir.), Utopia and Neoliberalism. Ethnographies of rural spaces. Zurich, LIT Verlag.
  • 2017. Boscoboinik Andrea et Viviane Cretton. “Find your nature” in the Swiss Alps. In search of a better life in the mountains. Český lid 104, 199–212. doi:
  • Cretton Viviane. Performing whiteness: racism, skin colour, and identity in Western Switzerland, Ethnic and Racial Studies, DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2017.1312006
  • Cretton Viviane. 2014. De l’aide à l’expulsion, un social d’exception. In "Travail social et terrains d'enquête: le sens caché des relations", dossier dirigé par Viviane Cretton, Cultures & Sociétés (Paris), no 30, avril, pp. 61-67.
  • Cretton Viviane. 2013 Migration et identités en Valais. La tendance à invisibiliser les personnes issues de la migration, TERRA COGNITA, revue suisse de l’intégration et de la migration, no 22, « De la campagne », printemps 2013, pp. 66-69. http://www.terra-
  • Cretton Viviane. 2013 Parcours de migrants en Valais, REISO, la revue d’information sociale, juillet,


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