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Routes into the homeopathic profession: Witnessing, gender and subaltern therapeutics

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journal contribution
posted on 23.06.2022, 02:57 by Kevin DewKevin Dew, M Clark-Grill
Homeopathy, along with many other alternative therapies, has come under severe attack from apologists for orthodox medicine. Given the cultural authority of medicine, what then provides the impetus for people to take up homeopathy as a clinical practice? This article addresses this question in the context of homeopathic practice in New Zealand. Five focus groups were conducted with 22 homeopaths in five cities. The study found that it was common to be drawn to homeopathy through witnessing in themselves, their family, friends or animals, the positive effects of homeopathy, commonly after negligible success from conventional medicine. For many participants, all of whom were women, the opportunity to study homeopathy occurred when they were the primary carers of children, with homeopathy providing a possibility for a change in work trajectories. Many participants had previous occupations inside the conventional health system. Central to the appeal of homeopathy as a subaltern practice in New Zealand is the often dramatic impact of witnessing the effects of the therapeutic modality, which is conceptualised as analogous to an ‘event’ that tears at the fabric of the everyday.

History

Preferred citation

Dew, K. & Clark-Grill, M. (2022). Routes into the homeopathic profession: Witnessing, gender and subaltern therapeutics. Sociology of Health and Illness, 44(1), 99-112. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.13401

Journal title

Sociology of Health and Illness

Volume

44

Issue

1

Publication date

01/01/2022

Pagination

99-112

Publisher

Wiley

Publication status

Published

Online publication date

24/11/2021

ISSN

0141-9889

eISSN

1467-9566

Language

en