From life force to slimming aid : exploring views on the commodification of traditional medicinal knowledge.

Vermeylen, Saskia (2008) From life force to slimming aid : exploring views on the commodification of traditional medicinal knowledge. Applied Geography, 28 (3). pp. 224-235. ISSN 0143-6228

[img]
Preview
PDF (commodification_of_traditional_knowledge.pdf)
commodification_of_traditional_knowledge.pdf

Download (181kB)

Abstract

The commodification of traditional knowledge is a lively topic for academic debate, with opinions ranging from categorical rejection of this process, to views that it could be a liberating act. This debate is often characterised by generalisations and a lack of empirical engagement. This paper presents a case study of the commercialisation of traditional medicinal knowledge of the San in Southern Africa. A scenario survey in 3 communities reveals a range of different views amongst individuals and communities, much of which could be linked to differing local and historic socio-economic factors. Although the survey indicates that commodification is widely accepted, the subsequent use of a ‘life story’ approach to examine the actual commercialisation of the Hoodia (Hoodia Gordonii—a plant with appetite suppressant properties), shows that this acceptance is problematic. San informants reflect on it as a pragmatic choice informed by experiences of deprivation and economic hardship, resulting in a process which changes the cultural meaning of the plant and undermine its traditional healing power for the San themselves.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Applied Geography
Additional Information: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Applied Geography 28 (3), 2008, © ELSEVIER.
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/researchoutput/libraryofcongress/g1
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 28093
Deposited By: Dr. Saskia Vermeylen
Deposited On: 09 Nov 2009 09:28
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2019 23:45
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/28093

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item