Class Notes (807,839)
Canada (492,870)
SOSA 2503 (27)
Lecture 7

Lecture 7 - Medicine, Science and Technology.docx

5 Pages
Unlock Document

Dalhousie University
Soc & Social Anthropology
SOSA 2503
Emma Whelan

SOSA – Oct. 15: Medicine, Science & Technology It’s nothing medical science won’t be able to fix eventually. th Think of medicine as scientific, relatively recent development. Late 19 century. Part of medicine‟s professionalizing strategy. Science important (industrial revolution). Science makes progress, medicine claims expertise that other forms of healing couldn‟t claim. Only healing system based in biochem and scientific findings as compared to other types of healing systems. One of factors helped public accept medicine as best way to treat illness and b/c scientific understood cause of illness and can cure OR prevent illness, unlike other laypeople healers. Medicine Becomes Scientific - Late 1800s Factors:  Professionalization  Technolocial advances – industrialization  Distancing from other ways of treating illness  Popular support – „medicine is scientific‟ and „medicine ….. Can the social and the scientific/technological be separeated? - Social circumstances may give rise to specific technologies that may not be medically “necessary” - Whig history – discoveries assessed in terms of contributions they made to contemporary medical science - BUT many discoveries were ignored in their time - What gets ACCEPTED is often shaped more by cultural, economic and professional factors than scientific evidence - Things are just getting better, medicine getting more scientific and smarter all the time. - Assumes that only the wrong ideas are getting dropped and right ideas are always the ones that are accepted and retained. - History of medicine shows this is not true at all. - Most of now accepted practices were contested at the time they were discovered. Things that used to be rejected:  Harvey‟s theory of circulation of the blood  Vaccination (started out as a folk practice), dangerous, not worthy of professions  Anti sepsis – opposed b/c idea that physicians and surgeons could spread infection was insult to gentlemen  If didn‟t fit with culture of the time, it was discounted as an advancement  Shaped by cultural, economics and professional factors, scientific considerations come second with accepting of advancement. The insider: film, interviewed on 60 minutes. - non addictive cigarettes, didn‟t cause ill health effects - inventor‟s life ruined by the invention - tobacco companies were squashed - Family and daughter‟s lives were threatened Pelvic massage – paroxism, treated by physicians. Middle- upper classed women were desexualized. Massage work was considered labourous and time consuming. Vibrator invented to expedite the process. Physicians had kit in office. Difficult to separate social from scientific. Technological Imperative  Economic impact  New technologies – adopt first, evaluate later  Idea that to fix problems of medicine you need technology.  Prevalent in North America.  Medical technologies taken up before they are new before efficacy and safety are evaluated. o Eg. Electronic fetal monitoring  Originally only used in high risk births during labour.  70s EFM and ultrasound in most hospitals.  Then in offices in pre natal.  Now monitoring for even low risk pregnancies. Increasing C-section rates.  Rate varies by region, race, socioeconomic status.  Not about medical necessity alone, ability to pay, where you live etc.  EFM assosicated with this and mgmt of births by obstetricians as opposed to GPs or midwife.  Failed to find EFM more effective than low tech. “Electronic fetal monitoring has failed as a public health screening program. Nevertheless, most of the four million low-risk women giving birth in the United States each year continue to undergo this screening.” – David A. Grimes & Jeffrey F. Peipert What’s the Relationship Between Medical Technology and Society? 1. Technological Determinism: Technological → Society  Drives social development in an oppressive way.  In vitro fertilization oppressive, requires women to submit to extensive long lasting hormone manipulation.  Pressure for women to use these technologies. Low success rate.  Tech determines what happens in society. 2. Social Determinism: Society →Technology  Technology is a blank slate, is whatever we make it  Society determines how it is used.  Social context determines w
More Less

Related notes for SOSA 2503

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.