Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Nationality Medicines in China: Institutional Rationality and Healing Charisma

  • Lili Lai (a1) and Judith Farquhar (a2)
Abstract

This article describes emergent Chinese regimes of knowledge about “minority nationality medicines.” We adopt Weberian terms of rational and charismatic authority to better understand ethnic healing as it is developing among minorities in southwestern China. In the course of uneven development among diverse ethnic groups over recent decades, modern information regimes and institutional models have started to transform the many forms of healing and heritage that can be found “on the ground” in minority areas. We delineate a shifting border between official (or rational) and wild (or charismatic) forms of medicine, and argue that every healing situation results from a dynamic and sometimes destructive relation between these forms of authority. We draw from research conducted among seven minority nationalities scattered in five provinces in China's south and southwest. After an overview of relevant scholarly work that circulates nationally, we discuss views and practices of three healers belonging to Zhuang, Tujia, and Yao groups, respectively. Ultimately we suggest that all healing, including that taking place in biomedical clinics, relies on some contact with “the wild,” and forges a relationship between rationality and charisma.

Copyright
Corresponding author
farquhar@uchicago.edu
References
Hide All
Anderson, Benedict. 2006 [1991]. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.
Benjamin, Walter. 1968 [1936]. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. In Arendt, Hannah, ed., Illuminations: Walter Benjamin, Essays and Reflections. New York: Schocken Books, 217–52.
Bennett, Jane. 2010. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Durham: Duke University Press.
Bowker, Geoffrey. 2005. Memory Practices in the Sciences. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Bowker, Geoffrey and Star, Susan Leigh. 1999. Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Brandt, Allan. 1987. No Magic Bullet: A Social History of Venereal Disease in the United States since 1880. New York: Oxford University Press.
Cai, Chunxi, ed. 1992. Zhongguo Yixue Baike Quanshu: Chao Yixue 中国医学百科全书: 朝医学 (Survey of Chinese medicine specialties: Korean nationality medicine). Shanghai: Shanghai Keji Chubanshe.
Cai, Jingfeng. 1995. Zhongguo Zangyixue 中国藏医学 (Chinese Tibetan medicine). Beijing: Science Press.
Cheba, Mig dmar. 2012. Slob tshan gyi slob khrid rtsa ’dzin 21世纪藏药本科教育规划教材课程教学大纲 (Curriculum outline and overall plan for twenty-first century Tibetan medicine college education). Lhasa: Tibet Renmin Chubanshe.
Cui, Jian and Li, Tang, eds. 2007. Zhongguo Shaoshu Minzu Chuantong Yixue Gailun 中国少数民族传统医学概论 (Outline of China's Minority Nationalities traditional medicine). Beijing: Central Nationalities University.
Eisenstadt, S. N. 1968. Introduction. In Max Weber, On Charisma and Institution Building. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, ixlvi.
Farquhar, Judith. 1994. Knowing Practice: The Clinical Encounter of Chinese Medicine. Boulder: Westview Press.
Farquhar, Judith. 2002. Appetites: Food and Sex in Postsocialist China. Durham: Duke University Press.
Feuchtwang, Stephan and Wang, Mingming. 2001. Grassroots Charisma: Four Local Leaders in China. London: Routledge.
Foucault, Michel. 1977. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage Books.
Foucault, Michel. 1978. The History of SexualityVolume I: An Introduction. New York: Pantheon Books.
Ghopur, Halmurar, ed. 2003. Weiwueryi qizhi, tiyelun ji qi xiandai yanjiu 维吾尔医气质, 体液论及其现代研究 (Theory of Mizaj and Hilit in Uighur medicine and modern research). Urumqi: Xinjiang Kexue Jishu Chubanshe.
Guizhou Minorities Committee, ed. 1992. Miaozu Yiyaoxue 苗族医药学 (Miao nationality medicine). Guiyang: Guizhou Minzu Chubanshe.
Hsu, Elisabeth. 1999. The Transmission of Chinese Medicine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Jigemude, Ba and Duyi, Cao. 1997. Menggu Yixue Jianshi 蒙古医学简史 (A short history of Mongol medicine). Hohhot: Nei Menggu Jiaoyu Chubanshe.
Jin, Yu, ed. 2006. Mengyiyaoxue Zhushi Dacidian 蒙医药学注释大辞典 (Annotated encyclopedia of Mongol medicine). Chifeng: Nei Menggu Kexue Jishu Chubanshe.
Langwick, Stacy. 2011. Bodies, Politics, and African Healing: The Matter of Maladies in Tanzania. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press.
Li, Chaobin and Xiangzu, Guan, eds. 1996. Daizu Yiyaoxue 傣族医药学 (Dai nationality medicine). Kunming: Yunnan Minzu Chubanshe.
Li, Tong and Xunyun, Qin. 2001. Zhongguo Yao Yixue 中国瑶医学 (Chinese Yao medicine). Beijing: Minzu Chubanshe.
Litzinger, Ralph. 2000. Other Chinas: The Yao and the Politics of National Belonging. Durham: Duke University Press.
Liu, Yanchi. 1988. The Essential Book of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2 vols. Tingyu, Fang et al. , trans. New York: Columbia University Press.
Mao, Zedong. 1965 [1937]. On Practice. In Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 295309.
Montgomery, Kathryn. 2006. How Doctors Think: Clinical Judgment and the Practice of Medicine. New York: Oxford University Press.
Mullaney, Thomas. 2011. Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Nappi, Carla. 2009. The Monkey and the Inkpot: Natural History and Its Transformations in Early Modern China. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Nurmemet, Ablikim and Eli, Mutellip, eds. 2004. Uyghur tebabiti asasiy neziriyiliri Ilmi (Theoretical foundations of Uighur medicine). Urumqi: Xinjiang Renmin Weisheng Chubanshe.
Palmer, David. 2007. Qigong Fever: Body, Science, and Utopia in China. New York: Columbia University Press.
Porkert, Manfred. 1974. The Theoretical Foundations of Chinese Medicine: Systems of Correspondence. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Scheid, Volker. 2002. Chinese Medicine in Contemporary China: Plurality and Synthesis. Durham: Duke University Press.
Schein, Louisa. 2000. Minority Rules: The Miao and the Feminine in China's Cultural Politics. Durham: Duke University Press.
Sde srid sangs rgyas rgya mtsho. 1982. Gso rig sman gyi khog ’bugs (History of Tibetan medicine). Lanzhou: Gansu Minzu Chubanshe.
Sivin, Nathan. 1987. Traditional Medicine in Contemporary China. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan.
Sunder Rajan, Kaushik. 2006. Biocapital: The Constitution of Postgenomic Life. Durham: Duke University Press.
Taylor, Kim. 2005. Chinese Medicine in Early Communist China, 1945–1963: A Medicine of Revolution. New York: Routledge Curzon.
Weber, Max. 1968. On Charisma and Institution Building. Eisenstadt, S. N., ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Weller, Robert P. 2008. Asia and the Global Economies of Charisma. In Kitiarsa, Pattana, ed., Religious Commodifications in Asia: Marketing Gods. New York: Routledge, 1518.
Xu, Jiqun and Mianzhi, Wang. 1995. Fangjixue 方剂学 (Formulary). Beijing: Renmin Weisheng Chubanshe.
Yang, Nianqun. 2006. Zaizao Bingren: Zhongxiyi Chongtuxiade Kongjian Zhengzhi, 1932–1985 再造病人 : 中西医冲突下的空间政治 1832–1985 (Remaking patients: the politics of space in conflicts between Chinese and Western medicine, 1832–1985). Beijing: Renmin Daxue Chubanshe.
Zhu, Guoben. 2006. Zhongguo Minzu Yiyao Gailun 中国民族医药概论 (Essays on China's nationality medicines). Beijing: Zhongguo Yiyao Keji Chubanshe.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • ISSN: 0010-4175
  • EISSN: 1475-2999
  • URL: /core/journals/comparative-studies-in-society-and-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed