SOAN 2040 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Ninetynine, Alcoholism, Medicalization
SchoolUniversity of Guelph
DepartmentSociology and Anthropology
Course CodeSOAN 2040
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Medicalization is the process of which human conditions become defined as medical
conditions, which become the subject of medical study, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment.
Alcoholism is the main medicalized human condition in Honduras, with much stigma and
attention surrounding alcoholism, helping it become a medicalized condition. One resident
claimed that the alcoholism rate was one in six Hondurans being an alcoholic, with many
others claiming it was more like ninety percent or ninety-nine percent. Pine stated that drunks
are often eager to remove the stigma of deviance by portraying heavy alcohol use as normal.
This is the opposite of medicalization, which much of the population hopes to curb. AA and
similar organizations are heavy proponents of the medicalizations of alcohol, teaching their
members that it is a disease. Another factor is violence, and that alcohol causes it. This is a
factor against alcoholism as a disease, as a drunk could claim he has a disease and is not
responsible for committing violent acts. This is relevant as many Honduran residents believe
Honduran alcoholics are violent in nature.
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