Traditional Korean medicine in the modernization process: institutional and attitudinal changes
Willis J. Goudy
The objective of the research is to contribute to the sociological understanding of East Asian medicine in Korea. Specifically, at the institutional level, this study describes changes in the structure and organization of the traditional East Asian medical system, looks for some major reasons for these changes, examines the system's developmental process as a social system, and inquires about the system's dynamic relationship with Western medicine. At the individual level, this research examines the Korean people's attitudes and behaviors concerning East Asian medicine in relation to Western medicine; the effects of sociodemographic variables and nationalistic sentiment on attitudes and use of East Asian medicine are examined;From May to August of 1988, the data were gathered from 191 randomly selected residents of Bong-Dug 2 Dong in Taegu city, Korea. Observations of medical facilities and library research were also conducted in Korea;Along with general social changes, the East Asian medical system has been substantially modernized in recent years. Health policies have clearly affected the status of the traditional medical system. The influences of professionalization on the status of the traditional medical system are generally upheld. At the individual level, the popularity of East Asian medicine has been maintained among the people, regardless of their age, gender, level of education, rural residence experience, and income. Nationalistic sentiment is significantly related to the attitude scale of East Asian medicine but is not significantly related to the two behavior indexes. Attitudes and behaviors concerning East Asian medicine are significantly correlated, but the relationships are not as strong as was anticipated.