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Negotiating the Holistic Turn – Judith Fadlon

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Negotiating the Holistic Turn
In recent years, complementary and alternative medicine (often referred to as CAM in the literature) has grown tremendously in both popularity and economic importance. It is now recognized that about one third of the population of industrialized countries has had some experience with CAM. The new medical industry has generated its own field of adherents, practitioners, opponents, lobbyists, counterlobbyists, and regulations.

Originally, CAM was regarded as antiestablishment, and the struggle between CAM practitioners and medical doctors has filled volumes of medical, legal, and popular scholarship. In recent years, however, the view of CAM as antiestablishment has changed. It is not the purpose of this book to address the validity of CAM, but rather to focus on social and cultural discourse and the many ways in which CAM is acquiring situated meanings within institutional and social contexts.
Terminology, in the case of CAM, is a charged issue—omnipresent in research on the subject as well as in everyday use. Choice of terminology when discussing the ‘other’ is highly political, never innocent,
and reflects the aspirations of proponents and opponents alike.
The problem of selecting the right way to talk about CAM is in fact the same as the problem of how to conceptualize it. In general, terminology used to describe therapeutic methods that do not rest on a Western, scientific rationale has reflected the hegemonic status of biomedical culture. To study the emergence of complementary and alternative medicine is therefore also to study a discourse of social distinction and signification.


Biomedical Culture Revisited
Outline of the Book

Chapter 1. Conceptualizing NCM
Approaches in the History of NCM Research
Domestication: Making Sense of Medicine
Acculturation and Assimilation
Domestication and the Flow of Culture

Chapter 2. Setting the Scene: NCM in Israel
The Legal Status of NCM in Israel
NCM Institutions in Israel
Methodological Considerations

Chapter 3. Negotiation: The NCM Clinic
The Clinic and Its Boundaries
How the Clinic Worked
The Staff
Case Presentations

Chapter 4. The Patients: Group Profile and Patterns of Use
Cultural Outlook and the Use of NCM
Sociodemographic Characteristics and Health Problems
Patients’ Attitudes toward Biomedicine
Cultural Outlook and Practices
The Convergence of Statistics and Ethnography

Chapter 5. Dissemination: The Popular Discourse of NCM
Interprofessional Discourse in the Public Arena
The Narrative Formula of Dissemination
Magic Moments
Deus ex Machina—Bio Medicine as the Organizing Principle
Conventional Medicine Fights Back
Horror Stories

Chapter 6. Institutionalization: The NCM College
Introductory Lecture for Potential Students
The Yearbook
The Oriental Medicine Curriculum
The College Bulletin

Chapter 7. Conclusion: Familiarizing the Exotic
Domestication: Clinic, College, Media, and Patients
Local Findings—Global Implications?
Why Domestication? The Interplay between Biomedical
Hegemony and Consumerist Demand
The “Other” Appropriated and the “Other” Rejected
NCM and the Postmodern Body
Appendix: NCM Modalities Available at the Clinic

Title: Negotiating the Holistic Turn
The Domestication of Alternative Medicine
Author: Judith Fadlon


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