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Chinese Medical Concepts in Urban China

Change and Persistence

Martin Böke

Popular assertions proclaim a tradition of Chinese medicine spanning several thousand years. But is this really important for today’s China? Is Chinese medicine relevant for the modern, cosmopolitan urban Chinese today? And, as the political system has changed dramatically during the last century, do these changes influence people’s estimation of illnesses? Combining both a quintessential analysis of the relationship between emotions and health in different texts on Chinese medicine and empirical data consisting of quantitative and qualitative components, the author demonstrates that different social groups of urban dwellers share different opinions on Chinese medicine and its illness concepts, particularly those concepts commonly referred to as Seven Emotions. Education, age and gender are relevant categories for the evaluation of Chinese medicine, especially considering emotions such as stress or depression.
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10. References


AKAHORI AKIRA (1989): The Interpretation of Classical Chinese Medical Texts in Contemporary Japan: Achievements, Approaches, and Problems. In: UNSCHULD, PAUL U. (ed.): Approaches to Traditional Chinese Medical Literature. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 19-27.

ANDERSON, E.N. (1990): The Food of China. New Haven: Yale University Press.

ANDREWS, BRIDIE (1994): Tailoring Tradition: The Impact of Modern Medicine on Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1887-1937. In: ALLETON, VIVIANE & ALEXEÏ VOLKOV (ed.): Notions et perceptions du changement en Chine. (Mémoires de l’institute des hautes etudes Chinoises, Volume XXXVI), Paris: De Boccard, 149-166.

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