Narratives of Healing in Conventional and Unconventional Care
Illness narratives is already a well established field in the social sciences since Kleinman (1988) defined and explored it; and many field researches focused on how suffering and illness of the sick are shaped by cultural values, norms and social relations, and on how this affects their health behavior. However, still few studies have centered on healing as a relational process involving both the patient's and the professional's roles in different health care contexts (hospitals, clinics, home, etc.), for different problems (acute and chronic illnesses), and by different conventional and unconventional medicines (biomedicine, complementary and alternative medicines).
The aim of this session is to discuss the healing process according to the above different variables both at the theoretical level (concerning studies on the meaning of the art of healing according to different medical systems) and at the empirical level (by field researches applying a narratives approach to the study of the role of the professional in different health care contexts, for different problems and by various medical paradigms; on the patient-professional relationship and its role in the healing process; on the meaning of diagnosis, treatment and clinical care according to different medical systems).