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Chinese and Western Medicine in Hong Kong: Some Social and Cultural Determinants of Variation, Interaction and Change

Marjorie Topley

Edited by Jean DeBernardi

in Cantonese Society in Hong Kong and Singapore

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9789888028146
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206663 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888028146.003.0020
Chinese and Western Medicine in Hong Kong: Some Social and Cultural Determinants of Variation, Interaction and Change

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The anthropologist Raymond Firth points out that the observer is faced with the problem of accounting not only for continuity but also change. This chapter adapted this conceptual framework to its analysis. Firth uses it for the analysis of social behavior; but decisions and choices are cognitive events. One might also talk of a cognitive system, and of cognitive structure and organization: the norms people use in classifying and ordering concepts, and the ideas they are able to form on the basis of these norms—the variations possible. The chapter looks at some of these norms and variations in order to understand some aspects of social change and the importance of this change. It examines the official social structures devised for Chinese medicine and Western medicine, the main social and cultural factors which appear to have determined this divergence, and its significance for the people.

Keywords: Raymond Firth; social behavior; cognitive system; organization; norms; variations; social change; Chinese medicine; Western medicine

Chapter.  13881 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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