ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Who Chooses Modern Medicine and Why

treatment, traditional medicine is a closed system and non-experimental. It is, therefore, incapable of improvement wit hut the traditional framework. Attempts to introduce experimentation and research are broadly confined to the standardisation of pharmacopoeia These attempts are, moreover, themselves a departure from tradition: they are attempts at modernisation. What is more, many of the basic principles of the traditional systems of medicine prevalent in India have been shown to be erroneous in the light of the findings of modern medicine. A good example of such errors is afforded by the ayurvedic (ancient Hindu) theory of the constitution of man as a harmonious mixture of five elements, viz, earth, water, fire, air and ether Now, if increasing acceptance of modem (allopathic) medicine, and more importantly of the principles underlying it, is acknowledged as an essential part of the process of modernisation, it would be of considerable interest to find out who are the people in a developing society who adopt modem medicine and what are their reasons for the choice that they make. The present paper reports some of the results of a preliminary inquiry carried out in an Indian city with a view to answering the above questions. I will present and discuss here only the data obtained from patients; data obtained from medical practitioners are being published separately.

Caste and Development

Caste and Development T N Madan Asian Drama: An Inquiry into the Poverty of Nations; three volumes; Pantheon, New York, 1968; pp 2284. GUNNAR Myrdal's magnum opus will compel attention: readers will learn a great deal from it and yet find it difficult to agree with the distinguished author on all the interpretations he offers and, consequently, with the conclusions he often arrives at. Considering the range and size of this massive study of the poverty of South Asian nations, the foregoing criticism may seem both banal and unfair. But there is more in the criticism than that and this review article is an attempt to substantiate it.

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