‘Alternative ideology’ a source for empowerment

An ethnographic study of the ‘Classical Homeopathy’ in the Netherlands

This paper is about one of the forms of homeopathy, “Classical Homeopathy”, as it is practiced in Amsterdam. Homeopathic healing practices were a marginal phenomenon fought for a place in the field of medicine and healing. The last couple of years it has become more popular in the Netherlands. Why did it gain such an interest, what does this say about the Dutch society? What are the motifs of the patients to choose for ‘Classical Homeopathy’? This papers aim is to describe this against the background of the hegemony of the convenient medical health care system. The data stem from fieldwork that has been conducted at three ‘Classical Homeopathic’ therapists in Amsterdam, with the focus on the perspective of the patient. With qualitative research methods, as in-depth interviews and participant observations, van Kranendonk has been able to identify a ‘alternative ideology’ that includes a active role in sustaining their own health what causes a feeling of empowerment.

Adinda van Kranendonk

Adinda van Kranendonk finished the BA Cultural Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. After this she lived for 4 months on the West Bank were she i.e. made a documentary about the everyday life and working hands of Palestinians under occupation. But with her anthropological glasses she saw a strong trust in medical care, a care that showed a lack of responsibility to take care of their health. The travel incited her interest in different forms of medical care systems and their joint behaviors and ideologies.