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Purifying Purges and Rejuvenating Massages: Ayurvedic Health Tourism in South India

Cyranski, Christoph

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Abstract

This dissertation investigates the production of Ayurveda in an Ayurvedic health resort in Kerala, South India. Both theoretical and empirical analyses are situated within the context of international health tourism and transnational practice formation. It demonstrates why and how the Ayurvedic practice at the resort, located in a popular tourist area and predominantly visited by German guests, is created through the interaction between practitioners, management, visitors, different institutions such as the Keralan department of tourism or European travel agencies, the German medical practice of the Kur and the Western concept of stress. The study argues that the resort represents a space where transnational networks and circulations converge to ultimately produce a new form of Ayurvedic practice that constitutes one specific instance of a global variety of Ayurvedic treatment – as opposed to a diluted version of a more 'authentic' Ayurveda represented in classic texts or allegedly practiced in Indian clinics as contended by scholars and practitioners alike.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Sax, Prof. Dr. William
Date of thesis defense: 2 December 2016
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2017 06:29
Date: 2017
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies > Institute of Ethnology
Service facilities > South Asia Institute (SAI)
Service facilities > Exzellenzcluster Asia and Europe in a Global Context
Subjects: 390 Customs, etiquette, folklore
Controlled Keywords: Ayurveda, Traditional Medicine, Medical Tourism, Stress, Kur, Wellness, Authenticity, India, Kerala
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ayurvedic Resorts, Health Tourism, Transnational Space, Transnational Practice, Anthropology, South Asia
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