Functionalist Perspective On The Medical Profession Essay

1143 Words Apr 18th, 2016 null Page
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 likens our society to that of the human body and would view the medical profession as a vital organ which is necessary in order to maintain society . One Functionalist sociologist, Talcott Parsons 1951, suggests that the institution known as the medical profession maintains society through the 'sick-role '. What this is is when a person feels sick they have the obligation as a good citizen to seek medical attention so that a doctor may scientifically legitimise them as sick, and therefore positively sanction there deviance from societal norms and allow the sick person to enter the 'sick-role '. If, however, they are not scientifically defined as sick they are then expected to leave the 'sick-role ' and function normally in society. The…

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