The Scientization of Chinese Medicine during the Republican Period
The scientization of Chinese medicine occurred partially under the influence of the Western states. The medicine in China was correlation-oriented, which impacted the axiomatization of the ideas and the search for roots and causes.1 Initially, the state opposed scientization being reluctant to provide support.2
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Starting the mass production of drugs based on the Westernized model of medicine reflected the need for a metamorphosis in the state associated with biomedicine.3 The state faced destabilization due to the unification of the doctors struggling for professional interests.
The unions of the medical professionals indicate the onset of socialism in the republican state that later transformed into post-socialist.
Ethnic Classification in the Early Years of the PRC
Seeing the international rivalry as the competition between nations, the state justified the principles of social Darwinism and eugenics as similar to the social hierarchy of the Confucian era.4
Ethnic classification project identified dozens of ethnicities dwelling in China, and the diversity became recognized by the state.5 The classification has differentiated between the communities. Initially, the diversity clashed with the communist state, but the crisis handled via thorough organization and documentation of groups and communities.
The reduction of homogeneity and recognition of diversity are the signs of a socialist state. Post-socialist China showed growing individualism in a majorly collectivist culture.
Mao’s Medical Reforms in the Rural Areas
Mao’s China was a state with a goal to modernize medicine as one of the spheres of professional knowledge helping the whole nation to become more powerful.6
Mao’s reforms gave the push to the professionals who were not as active at implementing the change.7 The pluralistic orientation complicated the state maintenance but was a step towards more social equality.8
The shift from the republican to socialist state is demonstrated via the growing equal opportunities and the link of the cultural diversity with medical pluralism.
The one-child policy was actively promoted by the state with the engagement of various resources such as science, sociology, and medicine to name a few.9
The outcomes of the policy were troubling as it caused a backlash in the population and undermined the authority of the Party.10
The careful calculations as to the state’s resources in correlation with the population size reflect the socialist view aiming at equality and better wellbeing of a reduced population.
Quality and Quantity Discourse of One-Child Policy
One-child policy stimulated the sense of selfhood as it put the families before difficult moral choices. In the rural communities, male children were preferred to girls, and that created individual dilemmas in the families.
Since the policy was based on scientific findings and explained using various spheres of knowledge, the science served as the main stimulus of the policy promotion.
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Social contentions in China occurred due to the image of the nation whose benefit is more important that the benefits of the individuals.
Psychotherapy and Psychiatry in China
The Chinese psychiatry relied on the situation-centered perspectives; the psychological subjectivity was developed in studying individual lives and experiences of the patients.11
The scientific view that the locus of control was external helped to form the sense of selfhood juxtaposing the self to the outside world and making it weak and lacking control of the circumstances.
The social discontent based on the population’s reliance on the external controllers of the situations (the leaders) grew as the Party employed strict and limiting policies.
Food Safety Crisis
In the circumstances of the food crisis, Chinese population has started to rely on themselves more than on the state as it has not fulfilled its duty to ensure the safety of the people.12
During the food crisis, it became clear that the industrialization was caused the unhealthy environments and became opposed by the population focused on personal wellbeing.13
The food crisis has resulted in social dissatisfaction due to the breach of trust between the population and the states that failed to provide attention to the quality of the goods.
Debate over the Governmental Control of the Internet
The control of the Internet activities of the citizens served as a self-monitoring tool that forces the population to be individually careful online.
In this case, the technology that is supposed to unify and connect is employed to separate and target.
Knowing the freedom and opportunities the rest of the world has using the Internet, the Chinese population feels dissatisfied with the technologies used to track their activity online.
Chung, Yuehtsen Juliette. “Better Science and Better Race?: Social Darwinism and Chinese Eugenics.” Isis 105, no. 4 (2014) : 793-802.
Elizabeth Hsu, “The History of Chinese Medicine in the People’s republic of China and Its Globalization,” East Asian Science, Technology and Society: an International Journal 2, no. 4, (2008) : 465–84.
Fan, Fa-Ti. “Science, State, and Citizens: Notes from Another Shore.” Osiris 27, no. 1 (2012) : 227–49.
Greenhalgh, Susan. “Missile Science, Population Science: The Origins of China’s One-Child Policy.” China Quarterly, no. 182 (2005) : 253–76.
Hart, Roger. “Beyond Science and Civilization: A Post-Needham Critique.” East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine, no. 16 (1999) : 88-144.
Lei, Sean Hsiang-lin. “From Changshan to New anti-Malarial Drug.” Social Studies of Science 29, no. 3 (1999) : 323-58.
Mullaney, Thomas S. “Seeing for the state: the role of social scientists in China’s ethnic classification project.” Asian Ethnicity 11, no. 3 (2010) : 325–42.
Ng, Emily. “Heartache of the State, Enemy of the Self: Bipolar Disorder and Cultural Change in Urban China.” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry 33, no. 3 (2009) : 421–50.
Xiaoping, Fang. “From union clinics to barefoot doctors: healers, medical pluralism, and state medicine in Chinese villages, 1950–1970.” Journal of Modern Chinese History 2, no. 2, (2008) : 221-237.
Yan, Yunxiang. “Food Safety and Social Risk in Contemporary China.” The Journal of Asian Studies 71, no. 3 (2012): 705–29.
- Roger Hart, “Beyond Science and Civilization: A Post-Needham Critique,” East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine, no. 16 (1999) : 104.
- Sean Hsiang-lin Lei, “From Changshan to New anti-Malarial Drug,” Social Studies of Science 29, no. 3 (1999) : 326.
- Ibid, 327.
- Yuehtsen Juliette Chung, “Better Science and Better Race?: Social Darwinism and Chinese Eugenics,” Isis 105, no. 4 (2014) : 795.
- Thomas S. Mullaney, “Seeing for the state: the role of social scientists in China’s ethnic classification project,” Asian Ethnicity 11, no. 3 (2010) : 325.
- Fa-Ti Fan, “Science, State, and Citizens: Notes from Another Shore,” Osiris 27, no. 1 (2012) : 231.
- Elizabeth Hsu, “The History of Chinese Medicine in the People’s republic of China and Its Globalization,” East Asian Science, Technology and Society: an International Journal 2, no. 4, (2008) : 467.
- Fang Xiaoping, “From union clinics to barefoot doctors: healers, medical pluralism, and state medicine in Chinese villages, 1950–1970,” Journal of Modern Chinese History 2, no. 2, (2008) : 229
- Susan Greenhalgh, “Missile Science, Population Science: The Origins of China’s One-Child Policy,” China Quarterly, no. 182 (2005) : 258.
- Ibid, 260.
- Emily Ng, “Heartache of the State, Enemy of the Self: Bipolar Disorder and Cultural Change in Urban China,” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry 33, no. 3 (2009) : 432.
- Yunxiang Yan, “Food Safety and Social Risk in Contemporary China,” The Journal of Asian Studies 71, no. 3 (2012): 706.