Marginalising homoeopathy: an Australian case study


Homœopathy, once an accepted form of medicine, is currently under attack in Australia, so much so that its very existence is threatened. To illustrate techniques of marginalisation of homœopathy in Australia, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) report of 2015 is examined. As there is no standard framework or classification of marginalisation techniques, boundary work ideas were used to suggest techniques used in the process of marginalisation. To condemn homœopathy, the NHMRC used at least eight techniques: authority, asserting protection of autonomy, exclusion, double standards, normalisation, denigration, censorship, expansion and diversion. The NHMRC report is a revealing example of how biomedicine uses various tactics to marginalise alternative therapies, thereby maintaining biomedicine’s dominant position.

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