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A comparative analysis of formalising acupuncture and homeopathy training in the UK and Portugal: the localised dimension of professionalisation

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

  • Assaf Givati
  • Joana Almeida
Short Abstract
This investigation compares the formalising of acupuncture and homeopathy training in the UK and in Portugal while emphasising another, often overlooked, dimension - the role of the local setting with its distinctive cultural-political make up.

Long Abstract
Sociological research of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has focused on CAM practitioners' efforts to professionalise within biomedically-dominated healthcare systems, a process characterised by structural/organisational changes and alterations to the knowledge or content of work. This investigation compares the formalising of acupuncture and homeopathy training in the UK and in Portugal while emphasising another, often overlooked, dimension - the role of the local setting with its distinctive cultural-political make up.

This study objectives are: (1) to compare and contrast the formalisation process of CAM therapies in two European countries, the UK and Portugal; (2) to consider the role of the political, historical and cultural context in explaining parallels and differences between the two settings; (3) drawing in particular on Bourdieu's 'field' concept, to enhance the theoretical conceptualisation of professional projects in CAM.

While reflecting on empirical findings gathered between 2008-2015 in the UK and Portugal, this investigation draws on a current documentary textual analysis of acupuncture and homeopathy courses' syllabi as well as educational guidelines and documents published by the main professional bodies representing the two practitioner-groups.

A preliminary analysis of the data points at different levels of state intervention and control in CAM's regulation in the UK and Portugal as well as differences in the evolvement of formalising education in both countries: in the UK CAM's undergraduate programmes were already established in the 1990s but have recently witnessed a significant challenge and decline, while in Portugal, prompted by direct government regulation, such programmes are only recently being created.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2016
EventScience and Technology by Other Means: Exploring Collectives, Spaces and Futures - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 31 Aug 20163 Sep 2016
http://www.sts2016bcn.org/

Conference

ConferenceScience and Technology by Other Means
CountrySpain
CityBarcelona
Period31/08/163/09/16
Internet address

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