Based on an ethnographic study conducted in both biomedical and CAM settings in north Italy, I explore how people and practitioners make sense of allergy and how patients utilize plural healing options. Despite a wide range of medical modalities, people categorize and use medicine according to whether they are ‘natural’ or ‘not-natural’, thus dissolving any potential confusion between diverse therapies. I analyse how the concept of naturalness relates to allergy and medical pluralism. Nature is perceived as opposed to pollution, the first associated with a reassuring and idealized past and the latter to a modernity riddled with uncertainties. Participants associated a diverse set of meanings with nature, permitting them the syncretism of different medical modalities. Medical pluralism in the study area is an uneven platform for discussion and experimentation, the outcome of historical and cultural context and local entanglements of power.

Allergy narratives in Italy: 'naturalness' in the social construction of medical pluralism

RAFFAETÀ R
2013-01-01

Abstract

Based on an ethnographic study conducted in both biomedical and CAM settings in north Italy, I explore how people and practitioners make sense of allergy and how patients utilize plural healing options. Despite a wide range of medical modalities, people categorize and use medicine according to whether they are ‘natural’ or ‘not-natural’, thus dissolving any potential confusion between diverse therapies. I analyse how the concept of naturalness relates to allergy and medical pluralism. Nature is perceived as opposed to pollution, the first associated with a reassuring and idealized past and the latter to a modernity riddled with uncertainties. Participants associated a diverse set of meanings with nature, permitting them the syncretism of different medical modalities. Medical pluralism in the study area is an uneven platform for discussion and experimentation, the outcome of historical and cultural context and local entanglements of power.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3740954
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