Regular ArticleTowards a sociology of CAM and nursing
Review articleOpen access

AbstractOver recent years a sporadic, but not insignificant, sociology of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has begun to emerge. However, to date, the systematic sociological study of the apparent affinity between CAM, nursing as a profession and its practitioners has been absent from it. In this paper we argue for the need for a rigorous sociology of nursing and CAM and set out a provisional framework through which this might be operationalized. Three broad themes, as well as cross-cutting issues, are outlined. The way in which the challenges of CAM are mediated at the level of the individual and the profession are pivotal to analysis. An understanding of this mediation is crucial both as a means of extending knowledge, and as a means of engaging with complex issues such as the role of evidence, and the equity of provision, that are likely to accompany any extension of CAM mainstreaming.

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