Tagged: medicalization

Summer TV and Critical Disability Studies

Characters with “disabilities” are being more regularly depicted in entertainment media: The lead character of House suffers from chronic pain and walks with a limp; Glee has characters with Down’s syndrome, severe OCD, and mobility restrictions requiring wheelchairs; Perception has a schizophrenic crime-solving professor. And, this coming October, Turner Classic Movies will be showcasing some 20 movies featuring disabilities and disabled characters in a series the channel is calling “The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film.” While not...

Illness or Deviance: A Contested Space Between Criminal Justice and Medicine

Foucault wrote that the nineteenth century ushered in a new way to inspect the body; recognizing that medical personnel had placed the patient under “perpetual examination” (1975). His interest, however, was on the discourse that produced, maintained, and extended the medical look or “gaze” (1975). The “clinic,” for Foucault, became an apparatus of examination; a site of knowledge production bound by rules and regulations. It became an authoritative institution where the individual became the object of scrutiny (Long, 1992). Following...

Health insurance for millions more and the future of medicalization

A bill to extend health insurance to millions more Americans and to cut premiums and force coverage for pre-existing conditions for all Americans passed the house this week. President Obama will sign the bill today. At the Eastern Sociological Society conference in Boston this past weekend, I attended a panel on resistance to medicalization where Peter Conrad, who one might call the father of contemporary medicalization theory,  presented a new project on the medicalization of chronic pain. The overarching theme of...

What does calling something a disorder do? the case of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

By Dena T. Smith This week’s Science Times reported that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, (which causes the symptoms one might imagine, given the name of the condition) a set of symptoms with unidentified etiology, has been linked to a virus. This possible cause may potentially shed some light on the mysterious derivations of the syndrome, which many sufferers would like to see conceptualized as an illness or disease. While the story of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a fascinating and sometimes disturbing one, for sociologists,...