The Role Of Medicalization And Its Impact On Society Essay

1302 Words Dec 11th, 2014 null Page
While sociologists have always been concerned with social change, the issue of medicalization has received particular attention as a result of its wide impact on society as a whole. This process of defining previously non-medical conditions or normal life processes as medical problems has been subject to much analysis and commentary. Namely, medicalization has been criticized by sociologists as many consider it to be a tool of social control, as well as a process that can both exacerbate existing inequalities and lead to new forms of discrimination. Those involved in medicalization have also been accused of pathologizing various conditions for profit rather than focusing on the well-being of the public. As a result of the pervasive influence the process of medicalization and its manifestations have on both individuals and greater society, it becomes especially important to understand the rationale behind these criticisms, along with the social context in which it takes place. To begin, unlike many other social phenomena, medicalization tends to be defined fairly consistently in that it involves change in what is considered a legitimate illness, condition, or disorder. A general interpretation is that medicalization is a process by which previously non-medical conditions come to be defined and treated as medical problems (Conrad, 2007, p. 5). For instance, conditions which begin as fundamental life processes, such as pregnancy and childbirth, may often be subject to…

Related Documents