Essay on Social And Cultural Aspects Of Medicine And The Public Health

Essay on Social And Cultural Aspects Of Medicine And The Public Health

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In the 19th century, the field of sociology developed, thus allowing for many sociologists to challenge the way society works, especially, in the health care system. Deborah Lupton is one of these sociologists that has researched the social and cultural aspects of medicine and the public health. She has published “a series of papers emerging from a study on patients’ and medical practitioners’ views on the medical profession and the coverage of the medical profession in the mass media.” (Lupton, 1997:108) In this article, she delves deeply into medicalization to shed the light on the contributions of a Foucauldian perspective to understand power relations within the medical profession. Lupton agrees with the Foucauldian perspective and argues that it provides a vision of a world where the individuals’ lives are embedded through their experiences and it’s then understood through medicine and its professionals. She also argues that there is a hidden power that is found in our society that empowers the medical professionals over its patients to minimize disease and illness.

Lupton argues that the majority of the power found in a medical system is dedicated to the medical professionals and it is impossible to remove power from the medical profession and hand it into the hands of the patients. The doctors are higher up in the hierarchy and have a role in curing the patients of their illness. Since the patient is lower down in the hierarchy, therefore, they should solely accept the treatment that is provided to them in order for them to go back to their normal life. Latour would agree with this theory because he believes that you can’t remove the power from the doctors, such as how you can’t remove society from scientific facts. The ...


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...patient’s symptoms are as a result of true illness or an exaggeration. “There can be no doubt of the institutionalized superiority of the health care agent, notably the physician” (Parsons:276)

In this article, Lupton delves deeply into medicalization to shed the light on the contributions of a Foucauldian perspective to understand power relations within the medical profession. Lupton agrees with the Foucauldian perspective and argues that it is necessary for doctors to have more power than patients. She also argues that there is a hidden power that is found in our society that empowers the medical professionals over its patients. Latour and Parson, both agree with her and believe that the medical professionals should have power over of the patients and that this hidden power that the doctors control is necessary in order to fulfil their roles in the medical field.

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