Abstract and Keywords
Folk medicine and health practices have long been thought to be primarily old-fashioned and antithetical to modern medicine, whereas in actuality they are often used alongside and as a complement to mainstream medicine. The tension between vernacular authority and institutional authority has always been complex, but it has become increasingly so due to the Internet, both as a source of information and as a source of community. Online communities have defined not only how patients create identity but have also helped to define the care they choose and receive. These issues are further complicated by immigration and globalization and the rise in social movements such as feminism, LGBTQ rights, disability studies, and fat studies, among others.
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