Alternativ folkemedisin? Om røter og nye skot på det sørvestlandske, holistiske helsefeltet
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonKalvig, A. (2012): Alternativ folkemedisin? Om røter og nye skot på det sørvestlandske, holistiske helsefeltet. Tidsskrift for kulturforskning, 11(2012)2,
Some practitioners within the field of holistic health in Norway could be considered both “folk” and “alternative” practitioners (CAM-practitioners). In this article I point to the categories of alternative- versus folk medicine as to some extent complicating the possibilities of seeing “hybridization”, “creolization” and entrepreneurship as more illuminating for the South-Western Norwegian, field of holistic health practices. What perspectives might provide insights into the dynamics of intersecting and overlapping practices and discourses here? I analyze life stories from two alternative therapists from the South-Western region of Norway in order to answer this question. The informants “Åsa” and “Jorunn” share the traits of both the folk and the alternative practitioner, that is to say, display inherited healing abilities, clairvoyance, a practical, not theoretical, outlook on life, felt proximity to nature and a variously employed, Christian faith – which account for their folk identity. They still employ several perspectives, backgrounds and practices that indicate their alternative, “New Age” belonging: they’re educated and trained in several, CAM practices, impart several alternative spiritual views, and they demand payment, although one of them doesn’t admit it. I point to a seemingly unreflected passing on of emic and/or normative dichotomies between the folk and alternative health care practices in some of the scholarly literature, and argue for a more empirically based labeling of what seem to be profoundly mixed categories and identities, at least in a South-Western, Norwegian, urban setting, and in so doing seek to add to the growing bulk of present research in this field, which has had a predominantly north-norwegian empirical basis.