A Theoretical Model of Biomedical Professionals' Legitimization of Alternative Therapies
Alternative therapies receive mixed recognition from biomedical professionals. In this article, a theoretical model of biomedical professionals' legitimization of alternative therapies is proposed, drawing on the sociologies of profession, science, and innovation. The model consists of four components corresponding to the different ways of legitimizing a certain alternative therapy: the biomedicine model, the paradigm shift model, the specialization model, and the technical adoption model. As a case study, biomedical professionals' legitimization of acupuncture is explained according to the model. The proposed model is designed to clarify the analysis of issues concerning the legitimacy of various alternative therapies as medical therapies.