Ethnicity and health: experience with an urban mapuche health program from the perspective of key actors
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This article explores the relationships and tensions between ethnicity and health, describing the perspectives of various social actors on a Mapuche clinic in the context of a national health program. A qualitative methodology was used to carry out this case study of the Mapuche clinic "La Ruka," located in an urban area of the Metropolitan Region of Chile. The study analyzes the narratives of traditional health practitioners (including a machi, lawentuchefe, lonko, and intercultural facilitator), consumers, conventional healthcare professionals, and local health authorities and community leaders who share a physical, political, and symbolic space around the Mapuche health experience. The systemization of experiences method was applied to the data, acquired through nonparticipant observation, individual interviews, and focus groups. The results suggest that this healthcare experience is highly valued by its protagonists. However, there is a tension surrounding cultural diversity programs that recognize non-Western approaches to healing, such as indigenous practices. This study examines the health-related, cultural, and political tensions involved in projecting indigenous traditions into a homogenizing space such as healthcare in a multicultural neoliberalism system.
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Quote ItemJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (2020) 7:355–364
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