The thesis aims at analyzing and explaining the changes that have occurred in health care in Yongxing village, a village located in Yongxing Xiang, Jingshan County, Hubei province in central China. Since its introduction, Western medicine has been widely used in the later half of the 20th century and has become the main form of medical care. It is now well integrated into the local setting. Traditional Chinese medicine, together with other traditional treatment forms (Buddhism and Taoism, Shaman, Qi-gong, etc.), follows behind, taking a secondary position. Not only have the treatment forms changed, but also the people's beliefs and views about body, health, illness and medicine. More and more villagers, especially the younger generation, have come to follow the perception of Western medicine in taking external factors, such as viruses and bacteria, into account when treating their diseases. Therefore, people begin to pay more attention to hospital care and medicine, while their attention to their daily and family care is decreasing. Meanwhile, villagers have started to mimic the Western life style regarding food, clothing, housing and work.
In many ways Yongxing village is rapidly catching up with the West. At the same time, the locals also want to maintain and further develop some of their own traditions, which are well established historically and may also be suitable for the future. Therefore, a kind of mixed world emerges, where god, ghost, human and nature co-exist. Forces come from nature (god and ghost), and from humans (science and technology). However, these changes seen are from the "god and ghost" world to the "human and nature" world, though they are far from complete. Thus this mixed world appears more like a transitional state. In this mixed and transitional world, it seems that the forces belonging to the "human and nature" world (e.g. Western medicine and Western-style practitioners) are getting stronger, while the forces belonging to the "god and ghost" world (e.g. traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese-style practitioners, future-tellers, shaman healers, Feng-shui masters) are getting weaker.