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January 2022

Soc Sci Med. 1984 ; 18(2): 129-37.

Curing and commerce: changes in an indigenous medical practice in a highland Philippine town.

Russell SD.

The intrusion of the capitalist mode of production in Third World countries is usually accompanied by the expansion of cosmopolitan medicine. In most multi-ethnic societies, indigenous medical practices continue to persist, if not thrive, under these conditions for a variety of reasons. Urbanizing areas in particular may become focal points for the emergence of innovative role adaptations among indigenous curers. This paper describes the career development of an indigenous medical specialist in a highland Philippine town. The purpose is to suggest the importance of examining the lifestyle and socio-economic strategies pursued by curers in similar contexts. Such analysis can aid in the process of understanding the way in which particular individuals can perform significant buffer roles that promote the continued viability of medically plural practices and beliefs.

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