Medicine and Medical Policies in India

Medicine and Medical Policies in India : Social and Historical Perspectives

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A medical sociologist with a historian's obsession with detail and documentation, Poonam Bala tenaciously follows the developmental trajectory of medical pluralism in India with a keen eye to the dynamic social production of health and healing systems as social systems, practices, and technologies of power. Covering a broad swathe of history, this book explores how a turbulently emerging Indian State with shifting alliances and evolving rules ideologies (with the accompanying emergence of class and caste identities and opportunities) gave rise to a particular growth of scientific and, specifically, medical traditions in India. As a set of healing practices, a literary art, and a cultural knowledge base, India's medical traditions represent 'an acculturated product' of competing ideologies and the expression of contested State, and social and religious policies over time. Bala focuses on the power of State intervention and multiple levels of patronage to shape medical practice and theory, and in turn, India's very more

Product details

  • Hardback | 154 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 18mm | 340.19g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739113224
  • 9780739113226

Review quote

This succint volume is nonetheless an ambitious attempt to trace the historical trajectory of Indian medicine. Coverage of this impressively broad sweep of history from the Vedic period onward allows Bala to provide an overview of trends and continuities in the social and institutional position of medicine as knowledge tradition and therapeutic practice. -- Helen Lambert Cultural Medical Psychiatry, February 4, 2009show more

About Poonam Bala

Poonam Bala taught history at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and is a reader (associate professor) in sociology at Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. She is the author of Imperialism and Medicine in Bengal: A Socio-Historical Perspective (Sage Publications: New Delhi, Newbury Park, 1991).show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Studying Medical Trajectories and Policies Chapter 2 Birth of Indian Medicine: State Support and Assault in Ancient Times? Chapter 3 Expanding Medical Practice: Patronage Systems under Muslim Rule Chapter 4 Colonial Imperatives, Medicine and Indian Response Chapter 5 Conclusions: State, Ideology and Medical Traditions in Indiashow more