Epistemic Hybridity: TCM’s Knowledge Production in Canadian Contexts

  • Ana Ning
Part of the Health, Technology and Society book series (HTE)


Through ethnographic research with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners in Canada, this chapter focuses on the knowledge production of a Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) modality—TCM—and how it takes shape and shifts in very complex and sometimes contradictory ways. Conceptualising TCM’s knowledge production in terms of epistemic hybridity reveals highly hybridised TCM knowledges and practices that encompass incompatibilities and intersections with Western science. Thus, ‘epistemic disunity’ (Knorr Cetina, Epistemic cultures: How the sciences make knowledge. Harvard University Press, 1999) occurs within TCM itself and not only in relation to biomedicine or other CAM practices as commonly thought. Epistemic hybridity within TCM highlights the relevance of considering multiple legitimate evidence bases that include diverse ways of knowing and doing rather than the current emphasis on a single biomedical epistemology to evaluate the safety and treatment outcomes of any health modality.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Ning
    • 1
  1. 1.King’s University College, Western UniversityOakvilleCanada

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