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In an ethnographic study, Chen (anthropology, U. of California-Santa Cruz) explores why the Chinese healing exercise qigong flourished as a highly charismatic form of healing in the post-Mao period. She says it helped people cope with chronic health concerns while promoting a sense of belonging, problems associated with it became medicalized by the new psychiatric profession, and its transnational attraction dispelled the notion that it was a local Chinese practice unchanged by time. Annotation ©2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
|Publisher:||Columbia University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.04(w) x 9.38(h) x 0.73(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Nancy N. Chen is associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. A medical anthropologist, she also teaches courses on food, ethnographic film, urban anthropology, China, and Asian Americans.
Table of Contents
3. Riding the Tiger
4. Qigong Deviation or Psychosis
5. Chinese Psychiatry and the Search for Order
6. Mandate of Science
7. Transnational Qigong
8. Suffering and Healing
What People are Saying About This
Before there was Falun Gong, there was qigong psychosis; and before that qigong was a traditional healing methodology and health enhancing practice. Nancy Chen tells the whole story, along the way connecting masters and practitioners of breathing techniques and meditation to the major cultural, political, economic, and moral transformations that China has undergone in the last several decades of economic change. But Chen's interesting and useful account is also a story of psychiatry and globalization, making for a rich and bubbling hot pot of ideas, practices, and embodied experience.
Chen's riveting study focuses on a remarkable period in China's recent history, marked by this nation's recent reengagement with global capitalism. Chen bears witness to the shifting political significanceand vulnerabilityof spiritual practitioners and healers in China, exposing how such shifts affect human experiences with enlightenment, pain, and suffering. Vivid portraits of the author's encounters render this a truly moving, poetic ethnography written in the best tradition of critical medical anthropology.