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Chapter 26

SOC 7108 Chapter Notes - Chapter 26: Family Therapy, Medicalization, Medical Card


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 7108
Professor
Loes Knaapen
Chapter
26

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SOC 7108
CHAPTER 26
PUTTING KNOWELDGE TO TRIAL
Media reports located with Ireland and UK have brought attention to the controversies
surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. Concerns grew regarding the increased use
of medication for young children have led to reviews of doctors prescribing and treatment
practices through a range of other professional bodies such as educational psychologists and
teachers. It has been well documented within the USA where there was a rapid growing
increase of prescribing along with disputes to settle the nature of ADHD as a diagnosis and lack
of therapeutic interventions for the condition. Parents of children with ADHD are the most
significant lay actors within the realm of ADHD as they have a central position between the
professional and experimental discourse that overall characterizes the condition.
Within the media they are caught in a blame game, where the child’s problematic is
constructed as a parenting deficit. As a result, parents fought against these social constructions
by drawing on scientific evidence in order to validate ADHD in medical terms, becoming
promoters of medicalization from down below. However, even when being a part of the
relations, they still feel not properly informed to decide and have little choice options other
than medication. This article thus explores how parents of children with ADHD are intervening
in knowledge creation about the effectiveness of different treatments in Ireland. It has been
traditional to stay among biopsychiatry but satisfaction with medication as a single treatment
has become insufficient drawing in different types of professionals to show different forms of
therapies such as passive recipients of information to activists who have the ability to engage
with medical and scientific evidence regarding their child’s condition. Parents in this particular
study have commissioned to evaluations regarding neurofeedback and family therapy. The
authors want to know how parents are using the evidence to open up the treatment options of
ADHD.
Medicalisation and Knowledge Deployment in the Therapeutic Field
Medicalisation has been the consistent positioning and repositioning of different actors
across the medical field. It was perceived as having a power over the public and the institution
of medicine as being responsible for categorizing even more areas of social life as being a
medical issue. Passive public members from the medical profession has been critiqued because
of the emergence of active patients who are better informed about risks, benefits, less trusting
of authority and less accepting of the expansion of medicalization as a result of our growing
modern society. Thus, while the re-scalling of lay individuals is perceived as contradictory, they
did in fact bring out diagnoses and conditions within the medical profession. A number of
empirical studies are trying to unpack the identity work that revolves around being an informed
patient and the tools these individuals use to make their decisions about interventions. One of
the problems present is the fact that parents find themselves dealing with several allied
professions and not just simply one. As a result of this, there has been competition between
medical professions in diagnosing and treatment different conditions leading to an expansion of
the medical boundary and shifting the division of labor.
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