The Case of Curers, Noncurers, and Biomedical Experts in Pichátaro, Mexico: Resiliency in Folk-Medical Beliefs

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We explore potential conceptual and cultural change in folk-medical models within a Mexican community that may have taken place over the past 30 years. Building on a study from the 1970s, we explore the effects a government-supported biomedical clinic had on the content and distribution of folk-medical concepts. Surprisingly, we find that despite a dramatic increase in access to biomedicine and a host of socioeconomic shifts opening access to new medical ideas, folk-medical knowledge in Pichátaro, Michoacán, Mexico has remained largely unchanged with respect to its distribution and content. Curers and noncurers not only agree with one another but also continue to agree with a general model held in the 1970s. It is the medical models of clinic personnel that stand out as odd within the community. Yet, despite these conceptual differences, the biomedical facilities of the town are well attended.

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