Biomedicine and Alternative Healing Systems in America Issues of Class, Race, Ethnicity, and Gender
- List Price: $55.00
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Pr
- Publish date: 07/01/2001
- ISBN: 9780299166908
- ISBN10: 0299166902
In a country where the dominant paradigm of biomedicine (medical schools, research hospitals, clinics staffed by M.D.s and R.N.s) has been long established and supported by laws and regulations, the continuing appeal of other medical systems and subsystems bears careful consideration. Distinctions of class, Baer emphasizes, as well as differences in race, ethnicity, and gender, are fundamental to the diversity of beliefs, techniques, and social organizations represented in the phenomenon of medical pluralism.
Baer traces the simultaneous emergence in the nineteenth century of formalized biomedicine and of homeopathy, botanic medicine, hydropathy, Christian Science, osteopathy, and chiropractic. He examines present-day osteopathic medicine as a system parallel to biomedicine; chiropractic, naturopathy, and acupuncture as professionalized heterodox medical systems; homeopathy, herbalism, bodywork, and lay midwifery in the context of the holistic health movement; Anglo-American religious healing; and folk medical systems, particularly among racial and ethnic minorities. In closing, he focuses on the persistence of folk medical systems among working-class Americans and considers the growing interest of biomedical physicians, pharmaceutical and health care corporations, and government in the holistic health movement.