An Ethnobotanical Comparison of Three Generations of Taiwanese and Chinese Immigrants and their Health Perspectives Open Access

Jiang, Sandy (2014)

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Immigrant studies are very important to public health to better integrate cultural competency into biomedical practices. It is important to not only compare and contrast between two ethnicities, which in this case would be the Taiwanese and Chinese, but also generational differences. This thesis explores how social and political events can shape individual immigrants' beliefs in health perspectives and national identities. By breaking the 120 interviewees into six groups based on their ethnicity and decade when they immigrated to the United States, I show statistical differences in Western or Chinese medicine preference, belief in yin and yang, and future perspectives of Chinese and Western medicine. I also address differences in medicinal food preference across generations. Globalization has taken away certain traditions in Chinese medicine but it has also taken salient parts and reshaped them to fit what is popular in global public health. Understanding how three generations within two ethnic groups is crucial to understanding future trends in preserving and studying Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Table of Contents


Project Origination

Questions- How do Taiwanese and Chinese Americans think of and use Traditional Chinese Medicine. How do these beliefs and behaviors change over three waves of immigration periods between 1970 to present?

Literature Review

Traditional Medicinal Systems

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Biomedicine

Medicinal Foods

Methods and Study Site

Background- Immigration Grouping- Why are there 3 groups?

• Anthropology Chinese History and Immigration Period

• Demographics of interviewee samples

• Ethnographic description- Stories of the People

Medicinal Foods

Disbelief and Belief- How the Decades Can Say Much About Someone

1970's- The Pioneers

1980's- The Hole

1990's - The Revival

Future of Chinese Medicine- Perspectives

First Generation Responses on Future of Chinese Medicine: A Blur or a Loss?

Second Generation Responses on Future of Chinese Medicine: The Inevitability

Third Generation Responses on Future of Chinese Medicine: The Tried and

Seen and the Trying and Unseen

Concluding Remarks/ Implications

Medical Pluralism in the United States among Chinese Immigrant Chinese patients

-Cultural Competency

-Rise of TCM in the United States

About this Honors Thesis

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