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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 smooth societies. It engages with sociological debates on modernity and postmodernity, anthropological paintings.

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Extra resources for A New Medical Pluralism: Complementary Medicine, Doctors, Patients And The State

Sample text

For example, users of homoeopathy were found to be more critical and sceptical of biomedicine (Furnham & Smith 1988, Furnham & 30 A NEW MEDICAL PLURALISM? Bragrath 1992) and were more conscious about their health generally. A further study in 1994 (Furnham & Forey 1994) revealed that the users of homoeopathy were also more likely to believe that their health could be improved and had more self and ecologically aware lifestyles, were concerned about ensuring a holistic approach to health care and were generally more knowledgeable about their bodies than patients who only used biomedicine.

Certainly alternative medicine seems to demedicalize personal health by encouraging the individual to be less dependant on biomedicine but paradoxically it remedicalizes life, bringing all areas of a person’s emotional and spiritual life under scrutiny (Lowenberg & Davis 1994). Conclusion Despite the cost-disincentives of using alternative medicine we have seen a significant and progressive increase in the use of alternative practitioners across the Western world. How can such a situation be explained and what do we learn when we examine lay THE NATURE OF USER DEMAND 45 views and experiences of the alternative medical sector?

Once the parent had tried the therapy for themselves they were happy to use it with their children. Women of course may not have the same success with their partners. In Cant’s (1997)4 study for instance, one respondent talked about how she had convinced all her children to use the homoeopath but could not get her husband to attend: “No, he’s on a different planet, he’d say he had no time, but you need to be a sensitive type of person to go. ” Overall, can we say that illness behaviour is any different among users of alternative medicine?

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