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Folk Medicine as a Subdiscipline of Ethnology
Tanja Bukovčan Žufika
; Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (1 MB)
Bukovčan Žufika, T. (2003). Narodna medicina kao predmet etnologije. Studia ethnologica Croatica, 14/15(1), 145-169. Preuzeto s http://hrcak.srce.hr/47760
Ethnomedicine, medical anthropology, traditional and folk medicine are some of the (sub)disciplines which deal with different topics related to folk medicine. They share a common field of study: the concepts of health and illness in different cultural groups and are interested in traditional healers, healing techniques, notions and beliefs connected to healing, etc. Both ethnomedicine and medical anthropology were established as subdisciplines during the 1960-ies and 1970-ies when the majority of the medical projects offered to non-Western societies and third world countries have failed. It became obvious that medical concepts have to be treated as cultural concepts and parts of a culture which do not necessarily function outside that particular culture. The two subdisciplines have, however, had a different historical development, different, though related, theoretical backgrounds and different representatives. Today they deal with current ethnomedical problems in both Western and non-Western societies, among rural and urban population alike, and their findings are increasingly recognised as vital not only for cultural research, but also the solutions to many practical, urgent and current problems of health care and prevention of disease.
Ethnology in Croatia had a specific course of development, although it emerged from the German tradition of cultural studies which dealt primarily with rural population in European countries. Many ethnographers and ethnologists wrote about certain aspects of folk medicine, but no research was done so far which would provide a coherent and complete account of folk medicine in Croatia.
At the time when many traditional healing techniques are gaining in popularity and when many Western biomedical concepts are being questioned and re-evaluated, an all-encompassing and detailed research of Croatian folk medicine should be considered a necessity.
folk medicine; traditional medicine; ethnology
Hrčak ID: 47760
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