Functionalism In The Medical Profession

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The medical profession enjoys a large amount of power and authority which could be argued is exercised through social control for various motives. However, while it is certain that the medical institution provides a service necessary to our society and to our health. Some sociological perspectives suggest that society 's reliance upon this institution blinds ones of it 's less than harmonious relationship with society, or that it is used against us for capitalism or the maintenance of the patriarchy. Thus, depicting an institution that is as damaging as it is helpful, however whether these perspectives are unfounded requires evidence.

One perspective on the medical profession is the Functionalist perspective. The Functionalist perspective
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The Marxist perspective suggests that the medical profession only benefits the interests of the ruling class and maintains the class divisions that exist in order to keep the social classes where they presently are. One Marxist sociologist, Vicente Navarro 1977, believes that in capitalist Britain it is the ruling class that exploit the rest of society for their own benefit and this achieved by employing various mechanisms to distort reality thus causing citizens to accept exploitation as a normal phenomenon. It is Navarro 's political economy of health theory that depicts how the medical industry benefits capitalism in three main ways: medicine ensures that the working class citizen is healthy enough to produce goods, thus ensuring that the ruling class continue to receive profit. Secondly, Navarro argues that medicine is only the superficial answer to ones health, thus allowing the social factors that are the real cause for ill health to go unattended and illness to be blamed on a cause as week as 'bad luck '. Sociologist 's Pennell and Doyal support the claim that capitalism is directly responsible for peoples health by using the example of cancer and its link to pollution and respiratory diseases. Furthermore, Pennell and Doyal suggest that the limited sanctions placed upon companies that manufacture alcohol and tobacco are their to ensure large profits for capitalism. Lastly, Navarro states that not only does capitalism cause people to become sick but, due the biomedical explanation of health having lead to mass production of medicine, it also benefits from the profits of medicine making these people

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