Chinese Rural Health-Seeking Behaviour and the Dilemma of Sufferers of Chronic Sickness: A Case Study from Inner Mongolia
Honge Zheng, Fei Liu
Corresponding authors: Honge Zheng, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Asia Paciﬁc Journal of Anthropology, Vol.20, No.2, 2019
Abstract:Chinese society is entering a ‘period of chronic sickness’, especially hypertension, hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia, resulting from a more easily available diet rich in animal fat and protein. The damage is greatest in rural areas where medical and welfare facilities are limited and patients present late, which they justify as needing to continue farming despite sickness. Thus, contrary to Parsons’s observation regarding Western medical treatment, a patient’s sick role is neither ‘deviant’ nor separated from their everyday social role and lifestyle. Villagers might however be ofﬁcially encouraged to regard biomedical, religious and traditional folk therapies as neither old-fashioned nor in conﬂict, but as a spectrum providing emotional/psychological and sometimes physical beneﬁt, reinforced by returning to the greater community and family care existing before village social fragmentation. This recreation of a holistic perspective could enhance the quality of rural life, especially of chronic sickness sufferers.
Keywords: Rural Chinese; Recent Chronic Sickness; Biomedicine; Religious and Folk Therapy; Sick Role Integration
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/14442213.2019.1572782