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Springer International Publishing
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Knowledge Production and Social Transformation

Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Knowledge Production and Social Transformation


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This book examines how complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) – as knowledge, philosophy and practice – is constituted by, and transformed through, broader social developments. Shifting the sociological focus away from CAM as a stable entity that elicits perceptions and experiences, chapters explore the forms that CAM takes in different settings, how global social transformations elicit varieties of CAM, and how CAM philosophies and practices are co-produced in the context of social change. Through engagement with frameworks from Science and Technology Studies (STS), CAM is reconceptualised as a set of practices and knowledge-making processes, and opened up to new forms of analysis. Part 1 of the book explores how and why boundaries within CAM and between CAM and other health practices, are being constructed, challenged and changed. Part 2 asks how CAM as material practice is shaped by politics and regulation in a range of national settings. Part 3 examines how evidence is being produced and used in CAM research and practice. Including studies of CAM in Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, and North and South America, the volume will appeal to postgraduate students, researchers and health practitioners.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783030088897
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 01/13/2019
Series: Health, Technology and Society
Edition description: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2018
Pages: 337
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.03(d)

About the Author

Caragh Brosnan is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Pia Vuolanto is a researcher at the Research Centre for Knowledge, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies at the University of Tampere, Finland.

Jenny-Ann Brodin Danell is Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Sociology at Umeå University, Sweden.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: reconceptualising CAM as knowledge production and social transformation; Caragh Brosnan, Pia Vuolanto and Jenny-Ann Brodin Danell.- Part I: Defining Cam: Boundaries between and within Cam and Biomedicine.- 2. Evidence-based alternative, ‘slanted eyes’ and electric circuits: doing Chinese Medicine in the post/socialist Czech Republic; Tereza Stöckelová and Jaroslav Klepal.- 3. The incompatibility between social worlds in complementary and alternative medicine: the case of therapeutic touch; Pia Vuolanto.- 4. Qigong in three social worlds: National treasure, social signifier or breathing exercise?; Fabian Winiger.- Part II: Doing CAM in different contexts: Politics, Regulation and Materiality.- 5. Towards the ‘glocalisation’ of complementary and alternative medicine: homeopathy, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine practice and regulation in Brazil and Portugal; Joana Almeida, Pâmela Siegel and Nelson Filice De Barros.- 6. A ‘miracle bed’ and a ‘second heart’: technology and users of complementary and alternative medicine in the context of medical diversity in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan; Danuta Penkala-Gawęcka.- 7. Translation of complementary and alternative medicine in Swedish politics; Jenny-Ann Brodin Danell.- 8. Safety as ‘boundary object’: the case of acupuncture and Chinese medicine regulation in Ontario, Canada; Nadine Ijaz and Heather Boon.- Part III: Making CAM Knowledge: Evidence and Expertise.- 9. Conversions and erasures: colonial ontologies in Canadian and international traditional, complementary and alternative medicine integration policies; Cathy Fournier and Robin Oakley.- 10. Epistemic hybridity: TCM’s knowledge production in Canadian contexts; Ana Ning.- 11. Shaping of ‘embodied expertise’ in alternative medicine; Inge Kryger Pedersen and Charlotte Baarts.- 12. Institutionalising the medical evaluation of CAM: dietary and herbal supplements as a peculiar example of (differential) legitimisations of CAM in the U.S.; Geoffroy Carpier and Patrice Cohen.

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