This book provides a distinctive sociological inquiry into the perspectives and social issues surrounding the use of alternative therapies. Dr. Low presents the experiences of twenty-one Canadians who use alternative approaches to health care.
Her study foregrounds the lay perspective by using a symbolic interactionist approach, which emphasizes individuals' own understanding of reality as a basis for their actions.
Dr. Low analyses why the participants in the study came to use alternative therapies; the ideologies informing the models of health and healing they espouse; the impact these beliefs have on them, and the implications of their experiences for Canadian health care policy.
Dr. Jacqueline Low is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, University of New Brunsiwkc. Her areas of research specialization include: lay use of alternative health care, chronic illness and disability, deviant behaviour, and qualitative research methods.
"This is one of the most extensive examinations of the users of alternative medicines in Canada. In light of the recent and rapid rise in alternative medicine use, Low's analysis will be fascinating to a wide range of audiences."— “Dr. Ivy Lynn Bourgeault, Assistant Professor, McMaster University