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Title:Encounters with panaceas: reading flyers and posters on 'traditional' healing in and around Johannesburg's Central Business District
Authors:Kadenge, MaxwellISNI
Ndlovu, Thabisani
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies (ISSN 0258-9001)
Geographic term:South Africa
traditional medicine
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02589001.2012.704195
Abstract:Informed largely by the Critical Discourse Analysis framework, this article analyses flyers and posters that advertise traditional/alternative healing distributed and posted respectively in and around Johannesburg's Central Business District. Paying close attention to text and context, the paper analyses the advertising of medicines and practices referred to as traditional/alternative. The advertising, which employs modern media and advertising techniques, is as complex as the multiplicity of religious, secular and corporeal interventions offered by the healers. The ubiquitous presence of flyers and the continued pasting of posters onto city structures, despite warnings by the city of Johannesburg, are an expression of resistance to city authorities. The paper posits that what may appear to be downright charlatanism by the advertisers might in fact be a viable alternative to biomedicine, especially in Johannesburg's context of high in-migration with its attendant plethora of social and health problems. Thus the healing services that the healers advertise pose a challenge to allopathic medicine, suggesting that illness needs to be understood in a broad sense. Bibliogr., note, sum. [Journal abstract]