I travelled to the Lijiang basin area of Yunnan province in the spring of 2014 to record and explore the ‘traditional’ knowledge and practice of Chinese medicine among the Ho family. The Ho family includes three generations of herbalists who combine Naxi medicinal plants, Chinese medicine diagnostics, and knowledge of Western medicine in their clinical practice. They have also created their own herbarium of over 1000 local plants, which they organise based on modern botanical nomenclature. In the 1930s and 1940s, the Austrian-American botanist and explorer Joseph Rock introduced Latin botanical names to the father of Ho Shixiu, currently the oldest living Ho family member. The son of Ho Shixiu, Ho Shulong, who is now its primary caretaker, however, informed us that he was influenced by books as much as by his father’s oral teachings about medicinal plants. The youngest member of this lineage is a graduate of Yunnan Chinese Medicine University and acknowledges that his knowledge base in local ecology and medicinal plants must increase if he is to carry on the lineage. My aim is to describe both the unique aspects of the Ho family’s knowledge and its transmission, and the cultural and medical elements that have influenced and enriched them. From my perspective, these different types knowledge seem to sustain and give meaning to their family-based practice lineage. I argue that we need to carry out more ethnographic work in order to understand the relationship between medical knowledge and practice, and its social, historical, and cultural context. I hope this field note is a step in that direction.
Throughout its long democratic transition and two decades of democratic functioning, Taiwan’s political development has attracted attention from many political scientists. This review of recent scholarship finds that while some works suffer from political bias, there is no shortage of high-quality academic work on this topic. Well-crafted assessments of Taiwan’s democratic performance vary in their conclusions, but critical assessments outnumber laudatory ones. Topics that have attracted especially strong attention from scholars include Taiwan’s constitutional development (with the verdict that the island is ill-served by a pattern of politically motivated constitutional changes) and electoral reform (which is judged to have strengthened the two-party system). Finally, the paper identifies and categorises works that compare Taiwan to other new democracies and summarises work on how Taiwan’s democracy is perceived by the island’s public.
Moscow, Leningrad, and Kiev, the major Soviet cities, presently have lower rates of criminality than other urban areas in the USSR,1 thus defying the generally observed correlation between the level of urbanization and the crime rate.2 The Soviet Union has not always been the exception to this internationally observed phenomenon, for in the period directly after the 1917 revolution these three cities had exceedingly high rates of criminality.3 The crime trends of all three major Soviet cities is not coincidental but, as the author shows, this change is a direct result of government policies intended to make these urban areas showcases of the Soviet state. As a result of this governmental decision, population policies have been introduced in the last fifty years of the Soviet period to insure that only the most "desirable individuals" reside in major urban centers. Consequently, the favored cities have experienced a significant decline in criminality, while the regions not favored by government population policies have suffered measurable increases in criminality. This article will focus on the changes that have occurred in the criminality of the major urban centers of the USSR, in particular, Moscow and Leningrad, in the years since the 1917 revolution. The crime trends of Moscow have been documented in a recent Soviet collection (Comparative Criminological Research in Moscow in 1923 and 1968-1969),4 but evidence also exists from other criminological sources to assert that such a dramatic transformation has occurred in the level of crime of all major Soviet cities.