4_Medicalization - A Multi-Dimensional Concept - Ballard and Elston

4_Medicalization - A Multi-Dimensional Concept - Ballard and Elston

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‘normal life’ that has been the predominant concern. Accordingly, we concentrate on this here. Medicalisation and medical dominance Reflecting the concept’s origins in criticisms of the expansion in psychiatric jurisdiction in the 1960s, in the medical sociology literature of the 1970s and early 1980s, medicalisation was usually linked to the medical profession’s dominant position in society. Indeed, what became tagged as the ‘medicalisa- tion thesis’ generally attributed the process to the specific professional aggrandising activities of medicine (Blaxter, 2004). For example, in the context of his extended discussion of the development of an autonomous medical profession, Freidson (1970) suggested that the medical profession used the power gained through their specific knowledge and expertise to control what constitutes health and illness. As Freidson stated, ‘Once official jurisdiction is gained, the profession is then prone to create its own specialized notions of what it is that shall be called illness’ (1970, 251). Through specifying what should be identified and treated as illness, Freidson
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This note was uploaded on 10/10/2010 for the course ENG 000121 taught by Professor Mcgrand during the Spring '10 term at Cornell.

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