Volume 88, Issue 1 (2022), pp. 63–79
The article presents the discourse of folk medicine concepts in contexts of historicity, the social environment, and scientificity category interfaces. One of the essential features of folk medicine is its intra-disciplinary nature, necessitating basing the already-mentioned categories on a context analysis of theoretical and practical approaches to folk medicine. The article consists of four parts, which correspond to the approaches of discourse analysis on the concept of folk medicine. The first part presents the anthropological evaluation of folk medicine approaches to the social environment, historicity and scientificity. The second part highlights the context of the historicity of folk medicine, which raises the question whether folk medicine is an endangered legacy or a changing tradition? The third part analyses the expression of folk medicine in approaches to the coverage of the social environment: from village to city, from nation to humanity. The fourth part leads to an evaluation of the interfaces between folk medicine and scientificity as a problem of rationality/irrationality. In conclusion, it is emphasised that by presenting the discourse of folk medicine concepts in the already-mentioned segments (social environment, historicity, scientificity), folk medicine’s theoretical and practical expression is evaluated in contexts of today’s and past experiences.
Volume 18 (2012): People at the Crossroads of Space and Time (Footmarks of Societies in Ancient Europe) II, pp. 256–269
The Civitas Rutenica area, inhabited by Orthodox believers, emerged in Vilnius in the late 13th century and early 14th century. The development of this part of the city can be traced all through the 14th century. The cemetery that was discovered in the central part of Civitas Rutenica reflects cultural and social changes in the Orthodox community. Christian burial rites were practised in this cemetery. Several graves contained luxurious grave goods, including jewellery, some of which was common to the Slavs, and some of which had local origins. As an integrated approach to burial traditions indicates, people of the Orthodox faith were buried in this cemetery. According to written sources, the elite from Rus’ arrived in Vilnius at that time. An analysis of anthropological material reveals some features of the social structure of the Orthodox community.
The glance at the classical anthropological perspectives implies that the concept of ‘region’ was often tied to the environment and used mainly as a comparison unit and there were fewer intentions to try to discover the internal aspects of a ‘region’. The ideas of the contemporary scholars give a new room for the discussions about the connections between different territories, regions, concepts of local/global, homogeneity/heterogeneity, place, space/time etc. Generally, the article strives to prefigure possible ‘framework’ for the concept of ‘region’ and main elements as well as problems of its definition, and its application possibilities in the anthropological studies. The term ‘region’ is often occurring both in everyday and academic languages. But the question is, if it is possible to describe what kind of content is framed within the word ‘region’, because it does not have its own exact definition. Still it is usual to relate the term ‘region’ with geographical terms of various kinds of territories, for example, area, place, site, city etc. The scholarly discussions about globalization, its elements and processes influence perceptions of different territorial units and start questioning their stability and fixity.
To conduct an ethnographic research means to do a job of investigating something, which is always geographically located in a particular place: a village, a city, a country, or an area. A map is the first attribute of an ethnographer. But anytime we, as ethnographers, take the map and choose an ethnographic site to study it becomes immediately filled up in our imagination with the discourses already existing in historical, political, social, cultural, or local contexts. Then the question emerges about how does the view of a priori about the place come together with the ‘practise’ of fieldwork? The empirical ground of this article is my experience as of a researcher at the international EU project ‘Public Understanding of Genetics: A Cross-Cultural and Ethnographic Study of the “New Genetics” and Social Identity (2002–2004)’. Thus in the article I would like to discuss the role of ethnographic research in the construction of images about the place. I would return to the initial idea that region is a conventional category. Place-names and maps like natural symbols crystallize and justify the essence of its identity.