FOLK 533 401 Folk and Unorthodox Health Systems
David J. Hufford
Seminar: Wednesday: 12:00-2:00
Contact: David J. Hufford; 610-566-8592; firstname.lastname@example.org
Cross-listed with RELS 505
Undergraduates Need Permission
In 1997 42% of Americans used “complementary and alternative
medicine” (CAM) at least once and spent over $20 billion
out of pocket in the process. Since 1993 the National Institutes
of Health have had an office, now a national center, devoted to
CAM. Very few of the CAM practices getting headlines today are
new, and many are very old. A debate rages in medical circles
over whether the growing interest in CAM is a blessing or a curse.
And patients are largely on their own in making decisions about
herbs, energy healing, body work or spiritual practices for health.
This course offers students the opportunity to critically examine
representative alternative/folk health beliefs and practices and
their cultural position in American society. The philosophical
and theoretical premises behind these health systems will be analyzed
and compared to the premises of conventional, Western medicine
and to one another.
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