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Using Alternative Therapies: A Qualitative Analysis

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Using Alternative Therapies: A Qualitative Analysis

Jacqueline Low, «Using Alternative Therapies: A Qualitative Analysis»
Canadian Scholars Press | ISBN 1551302640 | May 2004 | PDF | 200 Pages | 1,80 Mb

This book provides a distinctive sociological inquiry into the perspectives and social issues surrounding the use of alternative therapies. Dr. Low presents the experiences of twenty-one Canadians who use alternatives approaches to health care. Her study foregrounds the lay perspective by using a symbolic interactionist approach, emphasizing individuals' own understanding of reality as a basis for their actions. Dr. Low analyses how and why the participants in the study came to use alternative therapies; the ideologies informing the models of health and healing they espouse; the impact these beliefs have on them; and the implications of their experiences for Canadian health care policy. The people she spoke with sought out alternative approaches in order to solve health problems for which they had previously found little or no redress. In using alternative therapies they developed ever-expanding networks of alternative health care, composed of alternative practitioners, health care professionals, and other lay users of alternative therapies. Through participating in alternative approaches, and interacting with others who use them, these informants began to take on alternative ideologies of health and healing. For some, these beliefs became a mechanism through which they transformed their subjective perceptions of health status for the better. Others became so enamoured of alternative approaches to healing that they sought training as practitioners. All of the participants found that they had to manage the socially constructed deviant identities they acquired through their participation in alternative therapies.

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