The Concept Of Medicalization: Moving Ideas

Medicalization is term for the erroneous propensity by society-often perpetuated by health professionals to view effects of socioeconomic disadvantage as strictly medical issues. It is the process by which individual conditions and problems come to be defined and cured as medical conditions and problems, and therefore come under the power of doctors and other medical researchers to review, diagnose, prevent or treat. The process of medicalization can be motivated by new data or ideas about conditions, or by trends in social attitudes or economic considerations, or by the introduction of new purported treatments. Medicalization is often claimed to bring benefits, but also costs, which may not continually be clear. Medicalization is studied in conditions of the role and electric power of professions, patients and businesses, and also because of its implications for ordinary people whose self-identity and life-decisions may rely upon the prevailing ideas of health insurance and disorder. Once a condition is classed as medical, a medical is commonly used rather than a social model. Medicalization may also be termed pathologization (from pathology), or sometimes disease mongering.

The term medicalization inserted academics and medical publications in the 1970s, for example in the works of numbers such as Peter Conrad and Thomas Szasz. They argued that the enlargement of medical specialist into domains of day-to-day existence was marketed by doctors and was a drive of interpersonal control that was to be rejected in the name of liberation. This critique was embodied in now-classic works such as Conrad's "The finding of hyperkinesis: records on medicalization of deviance, " printed in 1973 (hyperkinesis was the word then used to spell it out what we would now call ADHD).

Medicalization explains a situation which have been previously explained in a moral, spiritual or social conditions now become defined as the main topic of medical and medical knowledge.

Many years back for example some children were regarded and thought to be problematic, misbehaving and unruly. Some individuals were timid and men who were balding just used hats to cover it. Which was that. Nevertheless, nowadays each one of these descriptions could and perhaps would be attributed to a kind of disorder or disease and be given a diagnosis or medicine to treat it in some instances. Medicalization explains this. Also, "medicalization has been put on a complete variety of problems which have become defined as medial, ranging from childbirth and the menopause through to alcoholism and homosexuality (Gabe et al. 2006: 59). Furthermore, the term explains the procedure in where particular characteristics of every day life become medically explained, thus come under the authority of doctors and other health professionals to review, diagnose, prevent and or treat the trouble.

Originally, the idea of medicalisation was firmly associated with medical dominance, involving the extension of medicine's jurisdiction over erstwhile 'normal' life happenings and experiences. More recently, however, this view of your docile lay populace, in thrall to expansionist treatments, has been challenged. Thus, even as enter in a post-modern time, with an increase of concerns over risk and a decrease in the trust of expert specialist, many sociologists argue that the modern day 'consumer' of professional medical plays a dynamic role in causing or resisting medicalisation. Such contribution, however, can be difficult as health care consumers become progressively aware of the potential risks and uncertainty encircling many medical alternatives. The introduction of the modern day consumer not only boosts questions about the idea of medicalisation as a uni-dimensional notion, but also requires account of the specific social contexts where medicalisation occurs. Within this paper, we describe how the concept of medicalisation is shown in the books, outlining different accounts of company that shape the procedure. We suggest that some earlier accounts of medicalisation over-emphasized the medical profession's imperialistic tendencies and often underplayed the advantages of medicine. With awareness of the social context in which medicalisation, or its converse, arises, we dispute that medicalisation is a more intricate, ambiguous, and contested process than the 'medicalisation thesis' of the 1970s implied. Specifically, as we enter a post-modern era, conceptualizing medicalisation as a uni-dimensional, homogeneous process or as the consequence of medical dominance only is clearly inadequate. Indeed, if, as Conrad and Schneider (1992) suggested, medicalisation was from the go up of rationalism and technology (ie to modernity), and when we are exceptional passage of modernity, we may expect to see a reduction in medicalisation.

The idea of medicalization is perhaps "related only indirectly to social constructionanism, in that it generally does not question the basis of medical knowledge consequently, but issues its application". Nettleton continues and expresses that is "draws attention to the actual fact that medicine manages as a powerful institution of social control" (Nettleton 2006: 25). It can this by proclaiming know-how in areas in life which previously were not thought to be medical problems or issues. This consists of such life levels such as ageing, childbirth, alcoholic beverages consumption and childhood behaviour furthermore, the "option of new pharmacological treatments and hereditary tests intensifies these processes thus it constructs, or redefines, aspects of normal life as medical problems". (Conrad and Schneider 1990 as cited in Nettleton 2006: 25).

Medicalization may appear on three different and particular levels relating to Conrad and Schneider (1980). The first was explained as "conceptually when a medical vocabulary is used to define problems". In some instances, doctors don't need to be involved and a good example if this is AA.

The second was the institutional level, "institutionally, when organizations adopt a medical method of treating a difficulty where they specialise" and the 3rd was "at the amount of doctor - patient interaction when a problem is defined as a medical and medical treatment occurs" (as cited in Gabe et al 2004:59). These good examples all involve doctors and their treatments straight, excluding alcoholism which has other statistics to help people like the AA.

The third level was the "interactional level" and this was where in fact the problem, social problem, becomes defined as medical and medicalization occurs within a doctor-patient discussion.

Medicalization shows the moving ideas about health insurance and illness. Health and illness does not only include such things as influenza or the frosty, but deviant behaviours. Deviant behaviours which were once merely referred to as unlawful, immoral or naughty before have now been labelled with medical meanings. Conrad and Schneider "five-staged sequential process" of medicalizing deviant behavior.

Stage one involves the behavior itself as being deviant. 'Chronic drunkenness' was considered only as "highly undesirable", before it was medically labelled as 'serious drunkenness'. The next stage "occurs when the medical conception of your deviant behaviour is released in a specialist medical journey" relating to Conrad and Schneider.

A dominant thinker in the idea of medicalization was Ivan Illich, who studied it profusely and was very influential, in truth being one of the earliest philosophers to make use of the word "medicalization". Illich's appraisal of professional medicine and especially his use of the word medicalization lead him to be very influential within the self-discipline and is also quoted to obtain said that "Modern drugs is a negation of health. It isn't organized to provide individuals health, but only itself, as an institution. It makes more folks unwell than it heals. "

Illich attributed medicalization "to the increasing professionalization and bureaucratization of medical organizations associated with industrialization" (Gabe et al 2004: 61). He expected that because of the development of modern medication, it created a reliance on treatments and doctors thus taking away peoples ability to provide for themselves and "take part in self applied care".

In his book "Limits to treatments: Medical nemesis" (1975) Illich disputed that the medical profession in point of fact harms people in a process known as 'iatrogenesis'. This can be elucidated as when there can be an increase in disorder and sociable problems as the result of medical treatment. Illich found this occurring on three levels.

The first was the specialized medical iatrogenesis. These engaged serious side-effects which were tend to be worse than the initial condition. The negative effects of the clinical treatment outweighed the positive looked after conveyed the dangers of modern remedies. There were negative side effects of medicine and drugs, which included poisoning people. In addition, infections that could be found in the hospital such as MRSA and errors caused my medical negligence.

The second level was the cultural iatrogenesis whereby the general public is manufactured submissive and reliant on the medical job to help them manage their life in modern culture. Furthermore all suffering is hospitalised and medicine undermines health indirectly because of its impact on communal organisation of culture. In the process people cease to give birth, for example, be suffering or pass away at home

And the 3rd level is cultural iatrogenesis, which can be known as the structural. That's where life steps such as maturing and dying become "medicalized" which along the way creates a modern culture which is not able to package with natural life process thus learning to be a culture of dependence. Additionally, people are dispossessed of their ability to cope with pain or bereavement for example as people rely on treatments and specialists. (Illick 1975)

Sociologists such as Ehrenreich and English acquired argued that women's physiques were being medicalized. Menstruation and pregnancy possessed become seen as medical problems demanding interventions such as hysterectomies. Nettleton furthered this notion and mentioned this with regards to childbirth. The Medicalization of childbirth is consequently of professional dominance. She explained that "the control of pregnancy and childbirth has been bought out by a predominantly male medical profession".

Medicine can thus be thought to be patriarchal and performing exercises an undue communal control over women's lives. From conception to the birth of the infant, the women are closely monitored thus medical monitoring and intervention in motherhood & childbirth are actually routine processes. Childbirth is grouped as a 'medical problem' therefore "it becomes conceptualized in terms of clinical basic safety, and women should have their babies in clinics". This as a result brings about women being reliant on medical care.

Nevertheless recent studies and evidence show that it may really be safer to have babies at home because "there could have been less susceptible to infections and technocological interference" (Oakley 1884, as cited in Nettleton 2006: 26)

"Medicalization combines phenomenological and Marxist approaches of health and illness in that it considers explanations of disorder to be products of social interactions or discussions that happen to be inherently unequal" (Nettleton 2006: 26). Marxism talked about medicalization and associated it with oppression, arguing that drugs can disguise the fundamental causes of disease such as poverty and cultural inequality. Along the way they see health as an individual problem, rather than society's problem.

Medicalization is studied in conditions of the role and vitality of professions, patients and corporations, and also for its implications for normal people whose self-identity and life-decisions may rely upon the prevailing concepts of health insurance and disease. Once a condition is classed as medical, a medical style of disability tends to be used rather than a cultural model. "It constructs, or redefines, areas of normal life as medical problems" (Nettleton 2006: 26).

Medicalization has been referred to as "the processes where social phenomena come to be perceived and cured as diseases". It is the process in by issues and encounters that have recently been accounted for in religious, moral, or interpersonal contexts then become defined as the subject of medical medical knowledge.

The idea itself questions the belief that physical conditions themselves constitute an illness. It argues that the classification and identification of diseases is socially built and. It's been suggested that medicine is seen as being instilled with subjective assumptions of the contemporary society in which it developed. Furthermore, it argues that the classification and recognition of diseases is socially created and, combined with the rest of research, is far from attaining the ideals of objectivity and neutrality. The medical thesis "has much to recommendincluding the creation of new understanding of the social processes involved in the development and response to medical prognosis and treatment"

To understand the level of social electricity that the medical community exercises through medicalization, Conrad talks about that medical professionals have medicalized social deviance. They accomplish this by claiming the medical basis of matters such as hyperactivity, madness, alcoholism and compulsive gambling [Conrad, p 107]. By medicalizing interpersonal matters, doctors have the power to legitimize negative interpersonal behavior, including the case of suspected killers in judicial courts who promise momentary insanity and are, therefore, exonerated on medical basis [Conrad, p 111]. In stretching this concept, the Endocrine Population may have medicalized communal deviance in men who reduce their work inspiration or become characteristically upsetting because they're experiencing andropause. In place, despondency in more aged men might become an sign of male menopause rather than possible sign of cultural deviance.

Physicians also play a direct and significant role in the medicalization of social experiences. In analyzing the doctor-patient discussion of medicalization, Kaw argues that doctors have medicalized racial features by stimulating plastic surgery among Asian American women, for example, in order to avoid the stereotypical physical top features of "small" and "slanty" sight that are often associated with passivity, dullness and insufficient sociability [Kaw, p 75]. Kaw asserts that clear plastic doctors use medical conditions to "problematize the condition of their eyes so as to identify it as a medical condition [Kaw, p 81]. " Their use of technical conditions and expressions should be questioned, especially since the electric power of such vocabulary affects Asian American women to go after cosmetic surgery, when it is not essential [Kaw, p 82]. Analogously, the Endocrine World medicalized testosterone deficit by defining it as Andropause; this helped perpetuate the idea, among older individuals, that if indeed they lack erotic drive or sense major depression and fatigue, they need to seek medical assistance because they are experiencing an serious medical condition rather than a stage in the physiological cycle.

The role played out by medical care constructions in medicalizing conditions is increased by that of the pharmaceutical industry. In order to achieve implementation of a drug in the market, the medicalization of the problem is crucial [Conrad, p 111]. Once a medical meaning for male menopause was founded, the pharmaceutical company further medicalized the situation by introducing strong advertisement promotions aimed at older men and medical doctors alike, in order to popularize the medicine among everyone and medical community [Groopman, 2002]. In a period magazine advertisements, the industry appealed to the emotions of old men by linking "low sex drive" to the decline of testosterone levels somewhat than to a life process [Groopman 2002]. " In this manner, the pharmaceutical industries' profit based mostly ideology helps the medicalization of testosterone deficit by popularizing conditions that may be exceedingly common among health product consumers.

Medicalization also changes patients' ideologies of biomedicine and leads those to believe biomedicine should never only offer remedy for health issues, but also offer life enhancements. Similar to the way that impotence and hair thinning was medicalized by promoting drugs like Viagra to enhance performance, and alternatives like Rogaine for locks re-growth, male menopause has been medicalized because it triggers low "sex drive" among other standard symptoms [Groopman, 2002]. As a consequence, more mature men will choose to not only seek but demand life improvements achievable through medicine disregarding the fact that such treatments can be harmful to health. In fact, Groopman state governments that known side-effect of testosterone therapy include abnormal enhancement of the breasts, testicular shrinkage, congestive heart and soul failure and enlargement of the prostate gland [Groopman, 2002]. Medicalizing an issue can be hazardous and deadly, yet doctors perpetuate this dangerous habit by medicalizing conditions that patients may seek to treat for his or her personal "wellbeing"

It is important to realize that medicalization is not merely the consequence of "medical imperialism" but instead the interactive process which involves society and medical community; [Conrad, p 115]. It offers patients and doctors alike. Nonetheless, knowing of the mechanisms by which the medical community impacts world is important because treatments concerns all health consumers. Male menopause only functions as one of the many types of life experiences that contain become medicalized by the healthcare community.

Concluding this article, the idea of medicalization started out with the medical dominance which engaged the increase of medicine's influence and labelling over things thought to be 'normal' life situations and experiences. Yet, in recent time, this view of a submissive lay populace, in thrall to expansionist treatments, has been challenged. As a result, as we enter in a post-modern era, with increased concerns over risk and a decrease in the trust of expert power, many sociologists argue "that the modern day 'consumer' of medical care plays an active role in causing or resisting medicalization". Furthermore "Such contributioncan be difficult as medical consumers become more and more aware of the potential risks and uncertainty bordering many medical choices". In addition "the emergence of the present day day consumer not only raises questions about the idea of medicalisation as a uni-dimensional principle, but also requires awareness of the precise social contexts where medicalisation occurs" (Ballard and Elston 2005). Additionally they suggest that once we go into a post-modern era, conceptualizing medicalisation as a uni-dimensional or as the consequence of medical dominance mostly is insufficient.

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