Healing practices and revolution in socialist Cuba

Marina Gold*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

More than a state ideology, the concept of 'Revolution' holds multiple meanings for Cubans. A historic moment, the government, the country, the people-Revolution is any one of these and all of them at once. How, then, do people experience a permanent Revolution in their daily lives? The interactions between biomedicine, alternative health practices, and the syncretic system of beliefs known as Santería have important implications for the socialist project of the Revolution. As a central concern of Revolution, health provides a particularly clear example of the interaction between revolutionary ideology and practice. This distinction elucidates the epistemological and experiential complexity of Revolution, providing the Cuban state with a powerful signifier that allows it to adapt to situations of crisis, continuously reinvent itself, and be in a permanent state of Revolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-59
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Analysis
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Alternative health practices
  • Biomedicine
  • Cuba
  • National identity
  • Revolution
  • Santería

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