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2C06 E - Outline - 1 April.doc

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McMaster University
Denis Wall

SOCI2C06 – Deviance 1 April Medicalization, demedicalization, and remedicalization Readings - Adler & Adler, ch. 25: McLorg and Taub, “Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia” - Adler & Adler, ch. 32: Sirles, “Drug Use and Disordered Eating Among College Women” - Adler & Adler, ch. 22: Liederbach, “Doctors’ Autonomy and Power” Medicalization of deviance The process whereby previously non-medical aspects of life come to be seen in medical terms, (e.g. disorders, illnesses) Once these non-normative or morally condemned aspects of daily life come to be defined as medical related problems they then come under medical jurisdiction Examples: i.- appearance: - obesity, unattractiveness, shortness ii.- belief - mental disorder, racism iii.- conduct or behaviour - drinking, gambling, sexual practices Trend towards medicalization of deviance: constructing deviance as illness: shifting the status of deviance as crime or sin into a medical problem medicalization has implications for: - social control and power - knowledge - authority, and - personal liberty. 1 Trends in medicalization: i. - when deviance is increasingly defined in medical terms ii. - when deviance is described using medical language iii. - when a medical framework is used and adopted to understand deviance Interactionist perspective: NOT whether a form of deviance is ‘absolutely’ a medical disorder or disease BUT how problems become medicalized (‘deviance says who’ – societal reaction and response) Medicalization requires moral entrepreneurs who frame the problem as medical: - advocacy and self-help groups - social movements - clinicians - lay people - and even deviants themselves Growth industry in medicalization results in redefining things previously regarded as deviant: - AIDS, and post-traumatic stress
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