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Medicalization of Deviance

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Western University
Sociology 2259
Pamela Cushing

Medicalization of Deviance Formal Social Control THE LEGITIMATE PROCESSES OF DEFINING AND TREATING DEVIANTS WHEN THEY PERSIST IN THEIR DEVIANCE AND IT DOESN’T “GO AWAY BY ITSELF” THROUGH INFORMAL CONTROL Imputational Specialists Doctors, Psychiatrists, social workers, as well as police lawyers, judges, church officials. They are the “official labellers” of society Formal Social Control is in the hands of “experts” They have the power to define deviance, create deviance, and make it go away. Unlike informal control which controls identity, formal control can physically control the body of the deviant. They can remove the body from the social setting and confine it to a total institution (prison, mental hospital) Docile Bodies - Michel Foucault - Docile bodies are those that do not resist control - Bodies are made docile through the process of formal social control - The “out of control” body becomes controlled. Moral Entrepreneurs - Those who crusade for creation and enforcement of rules - There is a m oral fusion between deviant and bad or evil - Moral entrepreneurs are the “experts” on the correct or “good” way to be. Five Stages of Medicalization 1) Definition of behavior as deviant 2) Prospecting 3) Claims making 4) Legitimization 5) Institutionalization of a medical deviance designation Drugs… Are an amazing form of social control – perfect way to create a docile body. You can immobilize a body with drugs. You can keep a person in society and avoid other expensive options such as incarceration in a prison or hospital Conrad – predicted the prescription state Antidepressants - “Muzzle of the Masses” - Widespread addiction of north American women to Prozac and Paxil - Schur – women and deviance. Talks about good vs bad Addiction. Good is if you are a housewife taking Valium. It is normalized. It is okay for women to take antidepressants. A bad addiction – if you are a poor black woman living in poverty taking heroine or another form of drugs. (Heroine and antidepressants have similar addictive pro
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