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Title:Hybrid Modernity: The Scientific Construction of Korean Medicine in a Global Age
Author(s):Kim, Jongyoung
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Pickering, Andrew
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Health Sciences, General
Abstract:This research project explores the ways in which Korean medicine reconstructs its knowledge, identity, and community in relation to science, biomedicine, and industry in a globalizing age. For this project, I conducted fieldwork research in the Korean medicine community of Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Korea for 22 months over a five-year time period (1999-2003). This community known as the capital of Korean medicine actively attempts to scientize, globalize, and industrialize its clinical knowledge. This research focuses primarily on the micro-process of how Korean medicine mixes with science and biomedicine in laboratory and clinical settings. The Korean medicine community is composed of three main subunits: the College of Oriental Medicine (COM), the Graduate School of East-West Medical Science (GSM), and the Hospital of Oriental Medicine in Kyung Hee University Medical Center. My dissertation interrogates each subunit to understand diverse transformations of Korean medicine. Consequently, it deals with four case studies that show different mixing processes between Korean medicine, science, and biomedicine. First, by examining the Herbal Pharmacology Lab of GSM, I describe how herbal medicine is scientifically reconstructed in a laboratory setting. Second, I investigate a scientific research on acupuncture conducted by the Meridianology Department of COM and Korean scientists. Third, by tracing the networking process between Physiology Department of COM, Ye Oriental Clinic, and Purimed Biotech Company, I scrutinize how researchers mobilize science and industry to create profit. Lastly, by examining East-West Stroke Center in Kyung Hee Medical Center, I attempt to understand how Korean medicine and biomedicine are juxtaposed, mixed, and negotiated in hybrid medical settings. My findings reveal that the interaction between local knowledge and global sciences/biomedicine involves multiple negotiations and conflicts among traditional doctors, western scientists, the Korean government, and biomedical professionals of South Korea. At the same time, my ethnography shows the open-ended tuning process between traditional medicine and science/biomedicine through which different knowledge systems are combined and mixed, generating a new hybrid culture. Therefore, I challenge diverse imaginary dichotomies such as East/West, traditional medicine/science, and the local/the global. Ultimately, I argue that traditional doctors fashion their own version of modernity and globalization.
Issue Date:2005
Description:285 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3199048
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2005

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