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Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) comprises of a number of clinically and theoretically distinct therapies and practices, many becoming increasingly incorporated into the health care regimens of Australians. This paper explores the accounts of 16 regular CAM users to explore trust in CAM treatment decision-making. Self-reliant in their health information seeking and experimental i n their use of health treatment, the CAM users in this study exemplify the self-reflexive health consumer of late modernity. This paper shows that trust derives from confidence in the CAM practitioner, and also relates to culturally inscribed beliefs around pain and pleasure. Utilising the sociological theories of Giddens and Luhmann, the argument in this paper is that different boundaries and thresholds of trust are enacted in relation to the use of CAM and biomedical treatments.


School of Arts

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Open Access Conference Paper

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Open Access