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.
Sociology and Anthropology
Krahnke, Nell, ""The Perfect Life is Just to Balance:" Ayurveda as a Growing Cultural, Social, and Medical Movement in the United States" (2017). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 7732.
Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Medicine and Health | Social and Cultural Anthropology
Ayurveda, Medicine, United States, Anthropology, Ethnographic
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2017 Nell Krahnke