Complementary and Alternative Medicines: Knowledge in Practice

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Sarah Cant, Ursula Sharma
Free Association Books, 1996 - Medical - 197 pages
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Until recently complementary medical knowledge has generally been treated as "marginal" or 'heterodox' knowledge. However, the rise of complementary medicines within the health-care system of Britain, and other countries, has signalled the end of their marginal status. With this have come concerns about how knowledge is generated within complementary therapies; what kind of authority can be accorded to such knowledge; the nature of research agendas; what ideas and skill are central to training and how they are transmitted. This book examines these concerns in relation to a range of healing practices, in particular acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, Chi Kung, herbalism and osteopathy. The contributors address such questions as: * what special kinds of knowledge underlie the practices of complementary medicines? * how have they been received by the medical establishment? * how have they been developed and transmitted by complementary therapists? * what use have patients themselves made of holistic knowledge? * are we seeing a postmodern fragmentation of knowledge? The contributors to the book bring sociological, anthropological and practitioner perspectives to the growing debate about the future of complementary medicine

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About the author (1996)

Ursula Sharma is an established author who trained as an anthropologist and has conducted fieldwork both in India and Britain. She has held posts at the University of Delhi and at Keele University, teaching sociology and social anthropology. She is currently Professor of Comparative Sociology at the University of Derby.

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