Abstract

This research project explores the culture of Ayurveda in the United States. I used formal and informal interviews as well as participant observation to examine how Ayurveda has developed since its introduction to the U.S. in the 1980s. During my research period I visited an ashram with an Ayurvedic spa in Northern California. I had eight hour-long phone classes with the owner of an herb shop in Maryland. In this paper I use Arthur Kleinman’s theory of cultural systems; Hans Baer, Merrill Singer and John H. Johnsen’s theory of Critical Medical Anthropology; and finally Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Margaret Lock’s theory of the body politic to investigate how Ayurveda fits into the culture of the U.S. I discovered that Ayurveda in the U.S. is a lifestyle rather than just a medical system or spa treatment. Further, Ayurveda is growing and may begin to merge with the biomedical system of the U.S.

Advisor

Craven, Christa

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

Disciplines

Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Medicine and Health | Social and Cultural Anthropology

Publication Date

2017

Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 2017 Nell Krahnke