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Title: Wang Ji's 'Shishan Yi'an : aspects of gender and culture in Ming dynasty medical case histories
Author: Grant, Joanna Catherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2676 6805
Awarding Body: School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1997
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My thesis takes the Shishan yi'an by the physician Wang Ji (1463-1539) as the basis for an examination of gender in medical practice. In my analysis of this collection of medical case histories from the Ming dynasty I am interested in how the sex of the patient affects the physician's approach to the illness, and what factors might account for the differences between the sexes that are revealed. It is my contention that an understanding of gender difference within a medical context will contribute towards a greater appreciation both of the operation of gender relations within society, and of the interaction between medicine and the cultural context in which it is practised. The thesis itself is divided into four main chapters. I begin with a review of relevant secondary literature in order to situate my research in the wider context. In chapter two I examine the background of the text, including the social and economic situation of sixteenth century Anhui in which it was written, and what is known about the life of Wang Ji himself. Chapter three focuses on the picture of clinical medicine that emerges from the text, including the dynamics of the patient/physician relationship, interactions with other healers, and the actual logistics of practising medicine at that time. Finally, in chapter four I make a detailed analysis of gender differences in the Shishan yi'an, examining in turn each of the five main components of the case histories: diagnosis, aetiology, illness mechanism, treatment, and outcome. The results of this analysis would indicate that in certain areas of clinical practice there were significant differences between the sexes, and that to a large extent the reason for these differences lies not in medical theory, but in the specific social, economic, and cultural context of sixteenth century Arihui
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available