The Medicalization of Society: On the Transformation of Human Conditions into Treatable Disorders

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JHU Press, Apr 1, 2008 - Social Science - 224 pages
3 Reviews

Over the past half-century, the social terrain of health and illness has been transformed. What were once considered normal human events and common human problems—birth, aging, menopause, alcoholism, and obesity—are now viewed as medical conditions. For better or worse, medicine increasingly permeates aspects of daily life.

Building on more than three decades of research, Peter Conrad explores the changing forces behind this trend with case studies of short stature, social anxiety, "male menopause," erectile dysfunction, adult ADHD, and sexual orientation. He examines the emergence of and changes in medicalization, the consequences of the expanding medical domain, and the implications for health and society. He finds in recent developments—such as the growing number of possible diagnoses and biomedical enhancements—the future direction of medicalization.

Conrad contends that the impact of medical professionals on medicalization has diminished. Instead, the pharmaceutical and biotechnical industries, insurance companies and HMOs, and the patient as consumer have become the major forces promoting medicalization. This thought-provoking study offers valuable insight into not only how medicalization got to this point but also how it may continue to evolve.

  

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Review: The Medicalization of Society: On the Transformation of Human Conditions into Treatable Disorders

User Review  - Katie Reece - Goodreads

Great introduction to the theory of the medicalization of society. A good follow up to this is Medicating Modern America by Andrea Tone and Elizabeth Watkins. Read full review

Review: The Medicalization of Society: On the Transformation of Human Conditions into Treatable Disorders

User Review  - ♥ Sarah - Goodreads

Normal v. deviant behavior is transformed by medicalization/ pathologization of psychological disorders, whereby deviant behavior is labeled, stigmatized but at the same time justified, and used as a ... Read full review

Contents

Medicalization Context Characteristics and Changes
3
Extension Men and the Medicalization of Andropause Baldness and Erectile Dysfunction
23
Expansion From Hyperactive Children to Adult ADHD
46
Enhancement Human Growth Hormone and the Temptations of Biomedical Enhancement
70
Continuity Homosexuality and the Potential for Remedicalization
97
Measuring Medicalization Categories Numbers and Treatment
117
The Shifting Engines of Medicalization
133
Medicalization and Its Discontents
146
Notes
165
References
171
Index
197
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Page 172 - Somatization and Medicalization in the Era of Managed Care," Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 274 (December 27, 1995), pp. 1831-34. 56. Clifton K. Meador, "The Last Well Person," The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol.

About the author (2008)

Peter Conrad is the Harry Coplan Professor of Social Sciences at Brandeis University. He is the coauthor of Deviance and Medicalization: From Badness to Sickness and coeditor of The Double-Edged Helix, also published by Johns Hopkins.

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