ss8 - In modern societies bodies are increasingly something...

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In modern societies bodies are increasingly something we ‘create’ rather than accept as given. Interventions such as dieting and exercise are examples of social technologies of the body. The rise of eating disorders illustrates the socialization of nature – things that used to be seen as ‘natural’ now depend upon social decisions. Modern medicine has cured many of the diseases which plagued traditional societies, but many people suffering from the diseases of modernity – such as stress, depression and chronic pain – turn to alternative medicine. For the last two centuries, dominant Western ideas about health have been shaped by the biomedical model, which has three key principles: disease is a breakdown in the normal functioning of the body; the mind and body can be treated separately; trained medical specialists are considered to be the only experts. Sociologists stress that disease is a social construction: this can be seen in the way aches, pains and emotions become medicalized as ‘symptoms’. The growth in diagnoses of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, and its drug treatment Ritalin, illustrates how social conditions
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ss8 - In modern societies bodies are increasingly something...

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