The Influence Of Medicalization

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Medicalization can be described as being the way non-medical problems have become defined as medical, usually in terms of illness. “Since the 1970’s, sociologists have expressed concern about the medicalization of society, that is, the way in which everyday aspects of life such as death, birth, eating, drinking, sleeping, and so on have come under the jurisdiction of medicine”, (Hyde & McDonnell, 2004). Although the term medicalization is not a newly discovered phenomenon, it is only in recent decades that sociologists have intricately examined and studied the subject. Irving Kenneth Zola, for example, argued that medicine has “attached itself to anything to which the label of illness may be associated, irrespective of whether or not it…show more content…
Furthermore, genetic traits such as appearance, intellectual ability, sex and race also contribute to homophilous relationships (Smith & Christakis, 2008). That is to say, that even in childhood we tend to gravitate toward those who are similar to us which immediately limits the scope of social network available to us. People who grow up in high risk areas for drug abuse, for instance, socialise with the other children in the area. The older they get the less likely they would be to extend their social circle, limiting themselves to becoming surrounded by the high risk lifestyle primarily adopted in the area. The stronger the ties to high risk behaviours get the higher the chance of a person partaking in said behaviour. Numerous studies have been done to support the theory that socioeconomic, environmental factors and herd mentality are major contributors and determinants of…show more content…
People understandably put a huge amount of trust in their physicians. However, Scrabanek (Skrabanek, 1994) speaks of the ridiculous recommendations by doctors for women between the ages of 20 and 70… “According to the American college of physicians, she should visit her doctor annually and have 278 examinations, tests and counselling sessions. Not that this is recommended for a healthy woman.” If women feel that they are under pressure to see their doctor and have those many tests annually, or they see other women in their age bracket receiving confirmation of ill health, they may feel obliged to spend copious amounts of money of visiting their GP every single year. This therefore will cause huge financial stress and in turn lead the doctor to prescribe medicine for this, yet another ailment. Secondly, due to the fact that she may visit her GP this many times every year, she will be continuously awaiting test results and if the doctor suggests that something may be wrong, she will again, worry. This shows how social networks on a larger scale can affect the health of any one individual at any time and through various methods.
It has been well documented that human social networks thrive on popular opinion. The importance placed upon appearance, style, wealth and possession builds a structure for perceived perfection and ultimately creates an ego to ‘fill the
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