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Chapter 10 . Eric Pruitt, Matt Redeker , Bethany Hawkinson, Michael Hart. America Society as fertile ground for medicalization. •The medicalization of deviance has been nowhere more persuasive than in the United States.

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chapter 10

Chapter 10

Eric Pruitt, Matt Redeker, Bethany Hawkinson, Michael Hart

america society as fertile ground for medicalization
America Society as fertile ground for medicalization.
  • •The medicalization of deviance has been nowhere more persuasive than in the United States.
  • •Some people view America as the “Noble Experiment” because it’s society is regularly open to new ideas and innovative ways of doing things to solve problems.
america society as fertile ground for medicalization1
America Society as fertile ground for medicalization.
  • •American society has provided a particularly hospitable environment for the Medicalization of Deviance.
  • •Humanitarianism is deeply-grained in Americas ethos.
  • •Along with Idealism and Humanitarianism, Americans have shown a strong penchant for pragmatism for pragmatic solutions for human problems.
america society as fertile ground for medicalization2
America Society as fertile ground for medicalization.
  • •Rather than engaging in philosophical or even a scientific debate towards more full understandings of problems. Americans will mostly ask “What can be done about it?” *giving power to who*
  • •Americas values is tipped more towards the individual. Certainly when solving social problems, typical solutions involves intervention not in established institutions of societies but rather the individuals life.
america society as fertile ground for medicalization3
America Society as fertile ground for medicalization.
  • •This strategy is based on the assumption that the problem lies within the person not the diverse conflicted social and cultural environment.
  • •In a general sense American value of experimentation, newness, humanitarianism, pragmatism, and individualism, all contributed to a nurturing crucible for the medicalization for the medical perspective of deviance.
  • •Health is used as a justification for controlling powerful corporations, and as a criterion for defining activities as deviant. Ex. “cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking”
america society as fertile ground for medicalization4
America Society as fertile ground for medicalization.
  • •In a society where high value is placed on health it isn’t surprising the “sick” are considered “deviant” and the “deviant” is considered “sick” because in both cases this commitment to health serves as a justification for the treatment and control of the undesirable persons.
  • •Medicine is highly profitable in a capitalist society.
  • •In a capitalist society, medicalization can create new markets to be highly profitable.
the sequential model
The Sequential Model
  • Five stage sequential model for the medicalization of deviance
    • Definition of behavior as deviant
    • Prospecting medical discovery
    • Claims-making: Medical and Non-medical interests
    • Legitimacy: Securing medical turf
    • Institutionalization of a medical deviance designation
prospecting medical discovery
Prospecting Medical Discovery
  • The “discovery” of a medical conception of deviant behavior in a professional medical journal in a form of a description of a new diagnosis.
  • The articles are usually the product of work of a limited number of physicians, usually researches specializing in the problem.
  • It’s prospecting for two reasons
    • They can be buried or quietly refuted
    • The articles are large, formal, informational, and represent a view point to be “challenged” only in the most academic sense.
claims making medical non medical
Claims-making: Medical & Non-Medical
  • This is the key stage in emergence of new deviance destinations
  • Point when champions, moral entrepreneurs, & organized interest begin actively to make claims in attempt to expand the medical social control turf
  • Both medical and non-medical interest engage in claims-making activities.
claims making medical non medical cont
Claims-making: Medical & Non-Medical Cont.
  • Small group claim-makers, are by and large, not organized specifically around the promotion of new medical deviance but came together because their similar professional interest and viewpoints.
  • Some come together in professional forums and conferences at which to display their claims to promote their views to others
  • The activities of non-medical claim-makers are more overt, and they usually draw on already made professional claims
  • Media disseminates information, creating public pressure for new designation of deviance (which creates a demand for new medical treatment)
legitimacy securing medical turf
Legitimacy: Securing medical turf
  • This happens when proponents of the medical deviance designation launch an instrumental to challenge the existing deviant designation.
  • Usually involves some type of appeal to the state to recognize the medical view point
  • The most common areas of conflict are legislatures and courtrooms
  • A “victory” here for the medical designation means the passage of laws supportive of the medical viewpoint. Which grants medical jurisdiction over the question of social control.
legitimacy securing medical turf cont
Legitimacy: Securing medical turf Cont.
  • The professional dominance of medicine doesn’t extend to the authority to override the criminal definition of deviance.
  • The state grants the right to a particular social control turf
  • When medical claim-makrs and their supporters achieve legitimacy for their deviance designations, we say a claim has been successfully staked.
  • Becoming institutionalized makes them less prone challenges
institutionalization of medical deviance designation
Institutionalization of medical deviance designation
  • When a deviance designation is institutionalized, it reaches state of fixity and supereminences
  • There are two types of instituatinalization:
    • Codification
    • Bureaucratization
  • Codified- becomes accepted as port of the official medical legal classification system. Written into low and supported by the courts decision.
institutionalization of medical deviance designation cont
Institutionalization of medical deviance designation Cont.
  • Bureaucratization- The creation of large scale organizations, another form of institutionalization. They support medicalization by providing research money, technical assistance, and support from specific viewpoints of deviance.
  • These bureaucratic “industries’ with large budgets and many employees depend on existence by the acceptance form deviance designation
  • Most cases of medicalization of deviance “lags behind’ professional and bureaucratic support, which the public remains skeptical
medicalization and demedicalization of deviance are cyclical phenomena
Medicalization and demedicalization of deviance are cyclical phenomena
  • The changes to deviance designations do not all flow in one direction, there is movement back and forth between badness and sickness designations.
  • Examples: opiate addiction, homosexuality
  • Sickness redesignated as badness
  • What factors spur a cyclical shift in deviance designations?
Medical designations of deviance are more often promoted as a “foil” against criminal definitions than as ends in themselves.
  • The champions of medical designations presented their claims specifically as a critique of the dominant or ascending criminal definition.
  • Time and again, medical and especially, nonmedical reformers championed medical conceptions as a critique of harsh and punitive practices.
  • These claims-makers often promoted medical definitions, not for their own sake as more “valid” or “true” conceptions of reality, but as “humanitarian” challenges to what they saw as excessively punitive practices.
only a small segment of the medical profession is involved in the medicalization of deviance
Only a small segment of the medical profession is involved in the medicalization of deviance.
  • Although these claims-making physicians are few in numbers, their participation is central and critical to successful medicalization.
  • It is their conceptualization of the behavior or condition as a medical problem that provides the rationale and justification for medical designations of deviance, as well as supplying ammunition for claims-making battles.
  • It is only when a medical claim is successfully staked and becomes part of standard medical practice that most physicians have much to do with it.
When medical designations of deviance are proposed, they most likely will be based on the notion of “compulsivity.”
  • Compulsivity- the individual “cannot help it”
medicalization and demedicalization are political and not scientific achievements
Medicalization and demedicalization are political and not scientific achievements.
  • Although science and medicine add prestige and authority to any claim, supporters must still engage in the contests necessary to get their claim recognized.
  • This is always a political process.
  • Medical technology
sociologists as challengers
Sociologists as challengers
  • Sociologists are sometimes active participants in the contests of deviance designations.
  • Many sociologists do adopt the medical model in their research; sociological analyses represent a consistent potential challenge to medical claims.
hunches and hypotheses notes for further research
Hunches and hypotheses: notes for further research
  • It appears that the medicalization of deviance increases after a failure or crisis in previous systems of social control.
  • As a particular kind of deviance becomes a middle-class rather than solely a lower-class “problem,” the probability of medicalization increases.
  • Medicalization increases directly with its economic profitability.
in conclusion
In conclusion
  • The medicalization of deviance is an abiding feature of contempory American society
  • It won’t disappear or decrease and is likely to expand and medical definition will continue to be proposed
journal question
Journal Question
  • Deviance in the lower-class life is considered badness, but when it is also a middle-class phenomenon only then is it considered a sickness. Do you agree with this?