Contingent Efficacies in Buryat Tibetan Medicine

in Asian Medicine
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Focusing on sites of encounter between post-socialist biomedicine and Tibetan medicine in Eastern Siberia, this article explores overlapping ideologies of efficacy at work. In the absence of a single framework for determining its potencies, Tibetan medicine is caught between multiple regimes of legitimacy necessitated by scientific research, clinical protocols, and state regulatory frameworks. Through an exploration of three ethnographic case studies, this article tracks how those working with Tibetan medicine highlight instead the conditional nature of its therapeutic action. By adopting the frame of contingent efficacies, the article explores how practitioners of Tibetan medicine in Russia conceive of the medicines and techniques they deploy as always already situated extensions of specific social relations, political formations, forms of practice, and epistemological commitments. By pointing to the failures at commensuration with different regimes of abstraction these accounts offer a lens into the cultural politics of medical pluralism in Inner Asia.

Asian Medicine

Journal of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine

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References

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2

See Kleinman 1980; Good 1994.

4

Langwick 2008.

5

Craig 2012.

6

See Barry 2006.

7

Craig and Adams 2008.

9

See Petryna 2009.

10

See Schlosser and Ninnemann 2012.

11

Mol 2008.

12

See Abaeva 1998; Saxer 2010.

13

Bernstein 2013.

14

See Dulganov 2009.

16

Bernstein 2013.

17

Ayusheeva 2007.

20

Stengers 2013.

23

See Chudakova 2015.

25

See Saxer 2010. However, Schrempf, this volume, clarifies that different styles of Tibetan medical practices and formulations, including handcrafted ones in poweder form, co-exist in Tibet and China, though not necessarily in an easy way.

27

See Matkhanov 2014.

28

Danishevski et al. 2006.

32

Lindquist 2001.

33

See Scheid and MacPherson 2011.

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