A Diagnosis for Our Times: Alternative Health, from Lifeworld to Politics

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SUNY Press, Jun 5, 2003 - Medical - 230 pages
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Despite having one of the most advanced systems of medicine in the world, American consumers are increasingly turning to alternative medicine. Through a study of two alternative health networks, one “New Age” and the other conservative Christian, A Diagnosis for Our Times examines the health regimes followed by clients of alternative practitioners, the way people find meaning in non-Western and pre-modern health traditions, and the relationship between alternative health and other movements for change. In sharp contrast with other work on this subject, this book characterizes alternative health as a social movement and a “cultural laboratory” where people discover new values and new ways of living that may have larger implications. The authors discover surprising commonalities between the cultural left and the religious right when it comes to healthcare, and they evaluate the potential of alternative health to contribute to a new healthcare paradigm.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Study of Alternative Health
17
Biomedicine and the Loss of Meaning
41
Between the Aura and the Commodity
65
Technologies of the Self
99
New Social Movements
123
From Alternative to Complementary Medicine
155
Conclusion
183
Notes
201
Index
219
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About the author (2003)

Matthew Schneirov is Associate Professor of Sociology at Duquesne University. He is the author of The Dream of a New Social Order: Popular Magazines in America, 1893-1914.

Jonathan David Geczik (1942-2001) was Professor of Political Science at the Community College of Allegheny County.

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