Significance of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Systems in India: Some Issues of Its Continuity and Re-Emergence

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 10:15
Location: Hörsaal 17 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Arvind CHAUHAN, Department of Sociology, Barkatullah University, Bhopal, (M.P), 462026, India, India
This paper attempts to examine the significance of 'Complementary and Alternative Medicine' (hereafter CAM) systems in India. Following questions have been raised and discussed in the paper: (i) as the very idea of CAM systems came from west, it's significance in the context of Indian Society needs re-examination; (ii) how the CAM systems with it's strong tradition in the history of India responding to the challenges of other systems in the era of Globalization?; (iii) which sociological theories and concepts are useful to understand this emerging phenomenon?; (iv) what has been the response of the patients to the claims of CAM systems?; (v) how does sociology of professions get strengthened with the studies of CAM systems? Following are the main conclusions of the paper: (i) the CAM systems need to be seen and analysed in the wider context encompassing other competing systems as well; (ii) Talcott Parsons' theoretical and conceptual formulations particulary 'belief-system'  are relevant to understand CAM systems; (iii) the process of globalization has strengthened the continuity and re-emergence of CAM systems; (iv) in the era of globalization the CAM systems have attracted patients from upper classes along with middle and lower classes; and (v) the patients have been using both the CAM systems and allopathic medicines for the treatment of the same diseases.