TITLE

The impact of co-option on herbalism: A bifurcation in epistemology and practice

AUTHOR(S)
Singer, Judy; Fisher, Kath
PUB. DATE
February 2007
SOURCE
Health Sociology Review;Feb2007, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p18
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This paper examines the primarily sociological and anthropological literature that discusses the current challenges posed by the 'modernisation' of herbal knowledge through its co-option by biomedicine. Through this examination we identify evidence for a trend which suggests this co-option is a tactical strategy to preserve biomedical dominance through control of the knowledge base of 'other' medicines. Having identified such a trend, we examine the invention of the term 'complementary and alternative medicine' (CAM), suggesting that the universalising of non-orthodox health care practices under this construct is a problematic symptom of biomedical co-option. We then go on to argue that a possible outcome of biomedical co-option is an epistemological bifurcation between 'traditionally' orientated and 'biomedically' informed herbal knowledge and practice, a phenomenon whose implications demand serious recognition and analysis, not only in the academic literature, but also in wider public debates.
ACCESSION #
25354425

 

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