By Sarah Cant
This comparative textual content examines the increase of non-orthodox medication and theorizes the altering nature of health and wellbeing care in glossy societies. It engages with sociological debates on modernity and postmodernity, anthropological paintings.
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Extra info for A New Medical Pluralism: Complementary Medicine, Doctors, Patients And The State
After all, to examine the point of choice is to isolate a moment in what is often an ongoing story of attempts to deal with illness and accounts will change with greater experience of the practitioner, the progress of the illness, etc. In other words, we must acknowledge that the account of resort to an alternative medical practitioner is part of an “illness narrative” (Kleinman 1988, Good 1994). Thirdly, quantitative surveys vary tremendously in terms of the question posed. For example, some ask respondents whether they have ever used alternative medicine while others ask about use in the last year.
Indeed 26 A NEW MEDICAL PLURALISM? Shilling, drawing on Giddens, suggests that in times of risk and uncertainty, the body becomes a site where individuals can exert control: Investing in the body project provides people with a means of self expression and a way of potentially feeling good and increasing the control that they have over their bodies. (Shilling 1993:7) Are users of alternative medicine more concerned about their “healthy bodies” than non-users? Ros Coward (1989) has linked the use of alternative medicine to the wider shift in expectations about health care, particularly “healthism”, the cultivation of a highly individualistic approach to the body which emphasizes not just the perfectibility of the body, but the right of the individual to attain such perfect health and the obligation and responsibility of every individual to pursue such perfectibility.
Featherstone (1991) has thus talked about the commercialization of healthy lifestyles and both Giddens (1991) and Shilling (1993) talk of the “body project” whereby people increasingly see the body as an unfinished project to be shaped by lifestyle choices. Indeed 26 A NEW MEDICAL PLURALISM? Shilling, drawing on Giddens, suggests that in times of risk and uncertainty, the body becomes a site where individuals can exert control: Investing in the body project provides people with a means of self expression and a way of potentially feeling good and increasing the control that they have over their bodies.
A New Medical Pluralism: Complementary Medicine, Doctors, Patients And The State by Sarah Cant