Other-Worldly Making Chinese Medicine Through Transnational Frames

ISBN-10: 0822343843

ISBN-13: 9780822343844

Edition: 2009

Authors: Mei Zhan

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Description:

Traditional Chinese medicine is often portrayed as an enduring system of therapeutic knowledge that has become globalized in recent decades. InOther-Worldly, Mei Zhan argues that the discourses and practices called "traditional Chinese medicine" are made through, rather than prior to, translocal encounters and entanglements. Zhan spent a decade following practitioners, teachers, and advocates of Chinese medicine through clinics, hospitals, schools, and grassroots organizations in Shanghai and the San Francisco Bay Area. Drawing on that ethnographic research, she demonstrates that the everyday practice of Chinese medicine is about much more than writing herbal prescriptions and inserting acupuncture needles. "Traditional Chinese medicine" is also made and remade through efforts to create a preventive medicine for the "proletariat world," reinvent it for cosmopolitan middle-class aspirations, produce clinical "miracles," translate knowledge and authority, and negotiate marketing strategies and medical ethics. Whether discussing the presentation of Chinese medicine at a health fair sponsored by a Silicon Valley corporation, or how the inclusion of a traditional Chinese medicine clinic authenticates the "California" appeal of an upscale residential neighbourhood in Shanghai, Zhan emphasizes that unexpected encounters and interactions are not anomalies in the structure of Chinese medicine. Instead, they are constitutive of its irreducibly complex and open-ended worlds. Zhan proposes an ethnography of "worlding" as an analytic for engaging and illuminating emergent cultural processes such as those she describes. Rather than taking "cultural difference" as the starting point for anthropological inquiries, this analytic emphasizes how various terms of difference-for example, "traditional," "Chinese," and "medicine"- are invented, negotiated, and deployed translocally.Other-Worldlyis a theoretically innovative and ethnographically rich account of the worlding of Chinese medicine.
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Book details

List price: $20.99
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 11/9/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction
Entanglements
Get on Track with the world
Hands, Hearts, and Dreams
Negotiations
Does it Take a Miracle?
Translating Knowledge
Dislocations
Engendering Families and Knowledges, Sideways
Discrepant Distances
Epilogue
Notes
References
Index
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