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6 Traditional medicines, law and the (dis)ordering of temporalities (Book chapter)

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ISBN: 9780415792219 9781315167695 Year: Pages: 18 Language: English
Publisher: Routledge
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Law
Added to DOAB on : 2018-09-08 11:01:02
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Abstract

In this chapter, I explore the regulation of alternative and traditional medicine, in
order to reflect on how particular temporalities shape, and are shaped by, the
interface between law and medicine. This chapter makes two key points: first, it
argues that both biomedicine and law have relied on a particular sense of
‘modernity’ as a linear temporal process; in turn, this has been key in developing
both crude, and more subtle, social patterns of power, dominance, and exclusion
that continue to impact on contemporary societies. Second, it argues that as law
increasingly engages in the regulation of other types of medicine, it continues to
emulate biomedical models and assumptions as to what ‘modern medicine’
should look like, including its temporal features. This chapter is written as I am
starting a large investigation of the multiple ways in which traditional and
alternative medicines apprehend and are apprehended by law in several states in
Europe and Africa.2 Although the project has several aims, my interest in the field
came, in part, from the ambivalent and complex ways in which the idea of
‘modernity’ seemed to be shaping the field and, in turn, how law and medicine
as institutions were involved in this ambivalence. It is useful, to ‘set the scene’ of
this chapter, to return to this briefly.

21 Legalities and materialities (Book chapter)

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Book Series: Routledge Handbooks ISBN: 9781138956469 9781317353003 9781317352990 9781317352983 9781315665733 Year: Pages: 22 Language: English
Publisher: Routledge
Subject: Law --- Anthropology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-15 13:34:15
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Abstract

This chapter reflects on what materiality-inflected methodologies1 can bring to
an anthropology of law, and to legal studies more generally. Its starting point is an
increasing attention across the social sciences and humanities for objects, and thinking
beyond the human. These have often, but not only, emerged from science and
technology studies (STS), to which we pay particular attention. However, approaches
to materiality have themselves become diversified, and their implications for law can
similarly be read in multiple ways. At the same time, legal anthropology has helped to
re-characterise the complexity of law as a field of social activity by paying attention
to its meanings, for actors within as well as outside its own institutions; to its modes of
action in practice, again within its explicitly designated spaces as well as its everyday;
to its unexpected forms, patterns and directions; to its multiplicity and uncertainty.
Approaches within a broadly defined ‘legal anthropology’ agenda have provided tools
to move away from grand and removed theorisation of the law, or an exclusive attention
to its own claims, and towards a subtler understanding of law as a relatively fluid,
changing and uncertain set of practices. While doing so, legal anthropology has also
reminded us of the significance of empirical research to identify and theorise the
complex existences of law, a contribution which echoes some of the implications of
materiality-oriented theories.

Keywords

law --- philosophy --- anthropology

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