Discuss how notions of 'consumerism', 'pluralism' and 'modernity' are linked to the resurgence of CAM

Essay by mohypnoUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, June 2006

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The resurgence of CAM has been brought about mainly through people's personal choice for CAM therapies and distrust in orthodox medicine. This essay will discuss how this change has come about through historical factors and social change which link 'consumerism' the growth of particular products such as CAM therapies and over the counter remedies, 'pluralism' a term used to describe different forms of complementary health care which should be available to everyone irrespective of their financial situation. And 'modernity' the increase of people's knowledge and the ability for people to ask questions about using orthodox medicine and CAM therapies whether singularly or together to complement each other. Also it will discuss how the resurgence of CAM has become much more popular in the modern society we live in today.

Historically some form of alternative medicine has always been available to people from lay practitioners such as herbalists, traditional medicine such as Chinese medicine, acupuncture (which dates back thousands of years) and the 'wise men and women' who would produce their own potions and herbal remedies to help heal the sick, then later during the 18th century through herbalist shops.

Things began to change during the period after the industrial revolution "often referred to as 'modernity', "a way to understand the world" (Lee-Treweek, 2005, Chapter 1, P11), during this period the hierarchy of knowledge became well established as those seen as the professionals such as doctors were seen to have more creditability scientifically; giving them the authority to set expert knowledge which was seen to be scientifically provable. The lay practitioners where then often described as 'quacks' because there was then no scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of their remedies as such they were seen to have no credibility. Because doctors where seen as the expects they had the...