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Chinese medicine in action: on the postcoloniality of medical practice in China

Karchmer, Eric I. (2010) Chinese medicine in action: on the postcoloniality of medical practice in China. Medical Anthropology, 29 (3). pp. 226-252. ISSN 0145-9740

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01459740.2010.488665


Since the early twentieth century, there has been strong opposition to Chinese medicine within Chinese society. Critics have attacked Chinese medicine as unscientific and a hindrance to the development of the nation. I argue that doctors of Chinese medicine have responded to this charge by developing a "postcolonial" form of medicine that is based on the celebrated methodology of "pattern recognition and treatment determination bianzheng lunzhi [image omitted]." I show that bianzheng lunzhi plays two contradictory roles in everyday clinical practice, distinguishing the uniqueness of Chinese medicine from biomedicine while providing a technology for integrating these two medical practices. Through the close examination of a typical medical case, I show how these dual processes of purification and hybridization have become the central dynamic in the postcolonial transformation of Chinese medicine.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Life Sciences, School of
ID Code:8530
Deposited On:27 Aug 2010 12:43
Last Modified:27 Aug 2010 12:43

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