Who is the fake one now? Questions of quackery, worldliness and legitimacy
This paper shows how in the past quackery was seen as a problem of remoteness and isolation while today it is global connects which provide the nourishing grounds for it. It looks at ‘Dr Elsie’ from rural Bushbuckridge, South Africa who uses a Quantum Resonance Magnetic Analysis Machine as a diagnostic tool to prescribe Chinese supplements. The paper describes how the practicing ‘doctor’ draws approval and a sense of legitimate professionalism from the economic success of her newly established business. Here, pseudo medical business becomes a conduit for social aspirations while she places the ‘burden of proof’ about the legitimacy of what she does with the very same people who the technology she uses deceives. The paper is framed by how the author’s own sense of faithfulness as researcher is challenged by the difficulty to draw a clear line between authentic and pseudo health care.
Hornberger, Julia. 2019. “Who Is the Fake One Now? Questions of Quackery, Worldliness and Legitimacy.” Critical Public Health 29 (4): 484–93.
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