Research: KESHET and POPPER-GIVEON,

Listed in Issue 216

Abstract

KESHET and POPPER-GIVEON,  Department of Sociology, Western Galilee Academic College report on ethnographic fieldwork focused on a group of Israeli dual-trained integrative physicians that has recently begun to integrate traditional herbal medicine preferred by the Arab minority.

Background

This article contributes to contemporary critical debate in medical anthropology concerning medical pluralism and integrative medicine by highlighting the issue of exclusion of traditional medicine (TM) and presenting attempts at border crossing.

Methodology

Although complementary medicine (CM) modalities are integrated into most Israeli mainstream health care organizations, local indigenous TM modalities are not. Ethnographic fieldwork focused on a group of Israeli dual-trained integrative physicians that has recently begun to integrate traditional herbal medicine preferred by the Arab minority, using it as a boundary object to bridge professional gaps between biomedicine, CM, and TM.

Results

This article highlights the relevance of political tensions, ethnicity, and medical inequality to the field of integrative health care.

Conclusion

It shows that using herbal medicine as a boundary object can overcome barriers and provide opportunities for dialog and reciprocal learning.

References

Keshet Y and Popper-Giveon A. Integrative health care in Israel and traditional Arab herbal medicine: when health care interfaces with culture and politics.  Medical Anthropology Quarterly. 27(3): 368-84. Sep 2013.

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