Based on 67 in-depth interviews of Chinese medicine (CM) Practitioners in Hong Kong, this paper reviews the ongoing debate within Hong Kong's CM community between the two pathways of professionalization: revival of the Chinese traditional knowledge or innovate by incorporating biomedical principles. Following earlier efforts to apply social movement perspectives onto the study of professionalization, we examine how segments of CM practitioners strive to forge divergent collective identities in their quest for professional status along three analytical dimensions: consciousness, boundary and strategies. This paper deepens our understanding of the professionalization of complementary and alternative medicines by documenting the construction of distinctive sub-identities not just over how the modality should interact with the mainstream biomedicine but also how to interpret the essence of their own practice. It shall also account for the emergence of the schism of professional identities in Hong Kong as distinctive results of the institutional configuration of the Hong Kong medical system under the One Country Two Systems, shaped by the twin forces of biomedical dominance locally as well as the thrust towards integrative medicines in Mainland China. Copyright © 2021 The Authors.
CitationChiu, S. W. K., & Sze, T. O. (2021). Revival or innovation? Chinese medicine at the crossroads of professionalization in Hong Kong. SSM - Qualitative Research in Health, 1. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssmqr.2021.100004
- Complementary and alternative medicine
- Chinese medicine
- Professional identity
- Professional jurisdictions
- Hong Kong