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October 2022

Soc Sci Med. 1988 ; 26(10): 1061-72.

Naturopathy in Canada: changing relationships to medicine, chiropractic and the state.

Gort EH, Coburn D.

Department of Behavioural Science, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

It is said that we can learn as much about social processes from so-called 'deviant' institutions than from the more legitimate. 'Deviant' medical occupations have not attracted much attention from social scientists. Naturopathy is one of these nonconventional health occupations. It emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries and moved to Canada from the United States and Europe early in the 20th. The social history of naturopathy in Canada illustrates the importance of processes of occupational formation and organization as well as state recognition or legitimation. Furthermore, the development of naturopathy shows the importance of state-occupation and naturopathy-chiropractic relationships as well as the often noted relationships with the dominant health occupation of medicine. Incidentally noted are the changing relationships with the state and the dominance of the ideology of science.

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