This paper focuses on the question of why the social and political acceptance of Chinese medicine has grown in the former British colony of Hong Kong since the late 1980s. To supplement the conventional explanations for the institutionalization of alternative medicines, we propose a political process perspective that highlights the effects of political changes amidst the decolonization process in Hong Kong. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the weakening of the political position of the established elite, the opening up of political space for previously excluded groups, and the competition for support among the new political elite, all stimulated the indigenous Chinese medicine organizations to mobilize for the institutionalization of Chinese medicine. By the mid-1990s academics from leading tertiary institutions began to take over the leadership of the movement and in doing so carried it to a higher level. In the conclusion, we briefly consider the implications of this movement for the future development of alternative medicine in Hong Kong and other societies. Copyright © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
CitationChiu, S. W. K., Ko, L. S. F., & Lee, R. P. L. (2005). Decolonization and the movement for institutionalization of Chinese medicine in Hong Kong: A political process perspective. Social Science & Medicine, 61(5), 1045-1058. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.12.026
- Alternative medicine
- Traditional medicine
- Political process
- Hong Kong