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Définition et enjeux de la "vraie médecine chinoise" en contextes chinois et africains


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Définition et enjeux de la "vraie médecine chinoise" en contextes chinois et africains

The dissemination of Chinese medicine in the global context is contributing increasingly to the reconfiguration of local therapeutic fields. It tends to modify relations between the different forms of medicine and categories of practitioners, with the emergence of new modalities of collaboration and opposition, new syncretisms, and some times technical innovations.

In this panel, we will focus on the Chinese medical practices developing in African countries. Today, they occupy an ever-increasing place in therapeutic fields characterized by crumbling public health systems, policies for the patrimonialization of traditional practices, and finally by an uncontrolled development of the drug market. Alongside doctors trained in Chinese universities, healers and Chinese and African pharmacopoeia sellers claim to practice “traditional Chinese medicine.” These practitioners argue their legitimacy by referring to competing definitions of “real” Chinese medicine. In this specific context, the debate on the ties between theoretical and practical medical knowledge, between knowledge and techniques, and finally on the art of practitioners is developing. These phenomena cannot be understood without taking the transformations of Chinese medicine in China itself into account, where some challenge the institutional “Traditional Chinese Medicine” system, or, in other words, the standardized and bio-medicalized form of Chinese medicine promoted by the Chinese government since 1950.

The papers proposed by this panel’s China and Africa specialists should enable us to put into perspective the evolutions in therapeutic practices that can be observed in China and certain African countries, and to apprehend their economic, political and symbolic stakes in the specific context of each social configuration.

We thus hope to generate a debate on the forms of interdependency that connect local therapeutic fields today.

 

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