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The purpose of this essay is to consider and critically assess a variation of sociological theories, which propose the idea that medicine is a systematic method, which involve aspects ofsocial control within modern Western culture. In order to illustrate this, the content of this essay will highlight the significance of the biomedical model and the ways in which it is associated to authority, power and social control. To demonstrate this, the essay will examine the significance of medicalizations and the applications of medical practicesassociated, which exemplify aspects of social control within Western civilisation, particularly assessing the role of medicalisation in relation to dementia. While medical social control has been conceptualized in numerous ways, the concern of social control is associated with the medical control of deviant behaviour(s).  This can be apparent through the understanding of the medicalization of deviance. Medical social control can be defined as “the ways in which medicine functions (wittingly or unwittingly) to secure adherence to social norms; specifically by using medical means or authority to minimize, eliminate or normalize deviant behaviour(s)”(Conrad,1979). This essay catalogues and illustrates a broad range of medical controls in relation to deviance, and examines major conceptual issues concerning medicalisation. The main aim of the essay it to reflect and assess the impact these issues have on the sociological understandings of medicine/biomedicine, and its significanceto the sociology of health and illness. The introduction of the text will begin to observe the foundations of medical knowledge, and the significance of the ‘scientific revolution’ to the Western world. Thedevelopments in mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology (including human anatomy) and chemistry within this period was crucial to the understanding of biomedicine, which altered society’s view on natural occurrences to do with the human body and environment around them (Galileo, 1974).The ‘Age of Enlightenment’ was a significant breakthrough for human knowledge and was closely associated with the scientific revolution, which began to shape western society’s view and awareness of the natural world. Others share this perspective, such as Brewer who proposes, “The Enlightenment has long been hailed as the foundation of modern Western political and intellectual culture.” (Brewer, 2008). The Enlightenment brought political modernization to the West, in terms of introducing democratic values and institutions. Which generated the creation of modern, liberal democracies. Rational thinking developed through a long age of change and formation, with the experiments of the Enlightenment, and breakthroughs in the sciences. Throughout history, values of Western culture has derived from political thought, widespread employment of rational argument favouring freethought, assimilation of human rights, the need for equality, and democracy. With its global connection, European culture grew with an all-inclusive urge to adopt, adapt, and ultimately influence other cultural trends around the world. Western societies have a more systematicapproach in dealing with illness and improving health quality,in compared to less developed countries. However, it can be argued that “De?ning deviant behaviour in reductionist and medical language is believed to be a product of rationality-based Western cultures that are industrialized (or post-industrial), bureaucratic, generally secularized, and rooted in individualism, and is rare in non-Western, pre-industrial cultures” (Conrad, 1992). Centralized control is considered bureaucratic control within sociology; control such as bureaucratic control is maintained through administrative or hierarchical techniques such as creating standards or policies.  When we comprehend the medical approaches that overlook Western countries, individuals tend to view it as scientific and therefore as neutral, not influenced by social or cultural processes. However, research commenced by anthropologistsand sociologists have highlighted the influence of social and cultural assumptions, which affect western biomedical tradition (Lupton, 2013). Linking the word “culture” with “medicine” is interpreted to mean one of two things. First,people of non-western cultures may come across western medicine holding different beliefs about the causes and treatments of illness from those of scientific medicine, consequently initiating a “culture clash” between doctor and patient. Medical anthropologists have identified numerouscultural beliefs systems among non-western cultures, such as the “hot-cold” system found in many Asian and Hispanic countries, which embrace the opinion that certain symptoms or illness are caused by imbalances of either “hot” or “cold” in the body. Western culture has a technological and systematic way in dealing with illness and improving health quality, a very dissimilar approach in comparison to less developed countries. Western societies often base theirunderstandings of medicine through the advancements of scientific medical research and technology; hence, it is rooted in empiricism rather than culture. Scientific principles underlie western approaches to medicine, but in many aspects,it is underpinned by a number of assumptions and beliefs developed through living in western culture.  In regards to technology in western society, it has allowed healthcare to re-globalize. Authors have took the view that increasingly sophisticated technology had extended the potential reach of medicalization as a form of social control (Chorover, 1972). With the dissolution of multinational boundaries and the universal free access to information, the notion of holistic and global-based care is emerging as the future of medicine. The development in technology allows for extensive medical examinations, information to be accessible, and logical ‘scientific validity’. Consequently, Western medicine tends to frequently rely upon costly technology that is unaffordable and is inaccessible to a large section of society.  It is important to understand the dynamics of the creation, evaluation and use of biomedical knowledge. In order to demonstrate aspects of social control within medicine, it is important to comprehend the concept of medicalization and its occurrence within contemporary western society.  Medicalization is a sociologic perspective, which observes the connection between the role and power of professionals, patients, and corporations. Medicalization permits individuals to identify implications for commonpeople, whose self-identity and life decisions may depend on the prevailing concepts of health and illness. Therefore, medicalization (or medicalisation) can be defined as “the process by which human conditions and problems come to be defined and treated as medical conditions, and thus become the subject of medical study, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment” (Crossman,2017). The practice of Medicalization presents new evidence or hypotheses about specificconditions.  In modern society, medicalization can be encouraged by one of three common factors: new evidence, medical observations and mental or behavioural conditions. Which consequently changes social attitudes, as well as economic considerations through the development of new medications or treatments. The purpose of Medicalisation is to take the social, political or personal problems that people have and turn them into medical conditions. This then allows us to seek a medical explanation and or treatment for what otherwise might be social ‘problems’ that require social solutions.    Medicalization has a tendency to strip subjects of their social context, so they come to be more understood in terms of the prevailing biomedical ideology, resulting in a disregard for over-arching social causes such as unequal distribution of power and resources. In relation to this, Foucault focuses on the discourses within biomedicine in relation to power and control.  Foucault’s work conceptualises power as the property not of any particular social group, or as something exercised through a structural implementation such as the state. According to Turner its rather: ‘ a relationship which was localised, dispersed, diffused and typically disguised through the social system, operating at a micro, local and covert level through sets of specific discursive practices ‘ (Turner, 1997). Power is a set of discursive practices that characterise the working of modern social systems. Therefore, for Foucauldians, traditional methods of governmentality depend on systems of knowledge and truths that constitute the object of its activity, and here the roles of experts and their expertise are central.In the 1970s, Thomas Szasz, Peter Conrad and Irving Zola established the term medicalization to describe the phenomenon of treating mental disabilities that were self-evidently neither medical nor biological. These sociologists believed medicalization was an attempt by higher governing powers to further interfere in the lives of average citizens, thus the role of power and social control come into being. These sociologists did not believe medicalization was a new occurrence, arguing that “medical authorities had always been concerned with social behaviour and traditionally functioned as agents of social control” (Foucault, 1965; Szasz,1970;).Productions such as “The making of a disease” or “Sex, drugs, and marketing” challenges the pharmaceutical industry for shunting everyday problems into the domain of professional biomedicine. The texts highlights the same drugs that are allegedly used to treat deviances from societal norms also help many people live their lives. Many social deviances are all brought under the umbrella of medicalization, at the same time some behaviours previously considered medical problems have become more acceptable and been de-medicalized, e.g., homosexuality and masturbation. According to Mike Fitzpatrick, “resistance to medicalization was a common theme of the gay liberation, anti-psychiatry, and feminist movements of the 1970s, but now there is actually no resistance to the advance of government intrusion in lifestyle if it is thought to be justified in terms of public health.”(Fitzpatrick, 2004). Inappropriate medicalisation carries the dangers of unnecessary labelling, poor treatment decisions, iatrogenic illness, and economic misuse. According to Lynn Payer ‘Medicalization may also be termed “pathologization” or “disease mongering”‘ (Payer, 1992).Many critics accept that the term medicalization has become much more complex now, as pharmaceutical companies have increasingly taken over the role of doctors, putting everyday problems into the domain of professional biomedicine. T. Moreira (2006) suggested that ‘the process of medicalisation is insufficient to understand the social aspect of relationship between a state that is considered as medical disorder and health’ (Moreira, 2006). In relation to capitalism, Marxists such as Vicente Navarro (1980) interrelatedmedicalization to an oppressive capitalist society, disputing”medicine makes people see health as an individual problem rather than looking at disease as a result of social inequality and poverty.”(Navarro et el, 1980). Direct consumer advertising promotes the undermining of the role of doctors, as patients are encouraged to ask for particular drugs by label, thereby creating a rapport between consumer and drug companies. Particular theories exemplify that biomedicine meets needs of capitalism and patriarchal society.Dependency theory highlights the notion that resources flow from a “periphery” of poor and underdeveloped states to a “core” of wealthy states, enriching the latter at the expense of the former. While Marxists emphasize the social relations of class and formations, according to dependency theorists, the introduction of capitalist biomedicine is synonymous with exacerbated poverty, inequality and disease. According to Alan Goodman in his work ‘building a new bioculturalsynthesis’, the text states that “Capitalist biomedicine extracts resources from the periphery (biomedicine necessitates like hospitals, high tech equipment and drugs), while it introduces new diseases (tobacco industry expansion via U.S.A)” (Goodman, 1998). Capitalism not only generates material inequality, but also social mechanisms, that lead to ill health. The problem is both the material pressures on human beings and our basic human necessitates. As well as the social and psychological means, we have for dealing with the unequal outcomes that are a result of social, economic and health inequalities. According to Ben Goldacre, he claimed that medicalisation might be a “reductionist, bio-medical explanations for problems that might more sensibly and constructively be thought of as social, political, or personal. This medicalisation of everyday life isn’t done to us; in fact, we eat it up.” (Goldacre, 2008). Western society often demand medical interventions to ease social problems, Illich’s work might overplay medical dominance and underplay our modern involvement as consumers of health services and practices.Illich’s(1976) ‘medicalisation of life’ thesis delivers a thoroughcritique of biomedicine & the medical profession which went on to become highly significant in the 1980s. Unlike the Foucauldian social constructionist approach, it does not question the basis of medical knowledge but rather it seeks to challenge its application. The theory asserts, “More and more aspects of daily life have been brought into the biomedical sphere of influence.” (Illich, 1976). Whether that be political, economic or social influence. Illich refers to those experiences that were once seen as a normal part of the human condition, such as pregnancy, childhood, ageing and dying. There arestructural problem in relation to Western medical approaches surrounding issues of healing, aging, and dying as medical illnesses. This effectively medicalises human life, rendering individuals and societies less able to deal with these “natural” processes. A good example of this would be an individual, who is suffering with dementia. The sociology of dementia has been a relatively neglected topic in studies of health and illness despite dementia becoming of increasing significance to most ‘ageing societies’. For this reason, an overview of developments and directions in the sociology of dementia seems both necessary and appropriate. Worldwide, it has been estimated that there will be over 80 million people living with dementia by 2040 (Prince and Jackson, 2013). Dementia is responsible for over half of all admissions to residential long-term care; it impacts more heavily upon families and carers than nearly all other medical conditions and it represents one of, if not the most feared aspects of growing older (Cantegreil-Kallen , 2012). Through studying medicalization, we come to understand the social processes involved in the cultural production of medical categories such as dementia and the extension of medical control over the disease. It helps us also to understand the ever-increasing demands for more healthcare provision (Armstrong, 2000).Therefore, medicalisation can be useful in understanding dementia. However, the concept of medicalization has limitations in its examination of dementia Medicalization through expert control, social control and individualisation of behaviour justifies control as the appropriate treatment for the ‘wellbeing of patient’. However, the biomedical model does not consider the after-effects of certain medical issues, such as the caregiving relationship between a ‘sick’ individual and their carer.       Many frail elderly people are now ‘cared for’ in care homes as costs rise and families can no longer cope with the demands. The transformations in society that have required families to be mobile in search of work, now results in the isolation of many elderly people from mainstream society while society itself is struggling to come to terms with the costs of social care (Dilnot,2011). In relation to this, many elderly people have to sell their property in order to cope with the financial pressures. The ‘care industry’ may soon become counterproductive in the sense that the aim of providing a home and social care occurs in a context, which has an effect on providing their aim to acceptable standards. The biomedical focuses on the individual and the diagnosis and treatment of the illness, rather than seeing the individual’s illness in the context of the social system. The question of importance is not about whether cognitive impairment is a normal part of ageing; rather it is about how medicalisation of cognitive impairment leads to social exclusion and marginalisation in the context of individuals who are suffering from dementia. It has been considered that the bio-medical project to find a ‘cure’ for dementia, which could potentially alleviate the cost of research, has plunged (Lock 2013). While the later decades of the twentieth century were marked by the concerted effort from the pharmaceutical industry to develop and market effective ‘anti-dementia’ drugs, since the beginning of the twenty-first century such efforts seem to have fallen, almost pushing the problem to one side. According to Imtiaz “Attention is turning toward ‘pre-clinical’ risk profiling and the public health implementation of ‘dementia prevention’ strategies” (Imtiaz et al, 2014). All of these aspects has extended the significance of dementia to researchers in the sociology of health and illness.Originally, the concept of medicalisation was strongly associated with medical dominance, involving the extension of medicine’s jurisdiction over former ‘normal’ life events and experiences. As we enter a new era with increased concerns over risk and a decline in the trust of expert authority, many sociologists argue that the modern day ‘consumer’ of healthcare plays an active role in bringing about or resisting medicalisation.  Previous accounts of medicalisation over-emphasized the medical profession’s dominating (imperialistic) trends and often underplayed the benefits of medicine.  With a consideration of the social context in which medicalisation arises, sociologists would suggest that medicalisation is a much more complex, ambiguous, and contested process than the ‘medicalisation thesis’ of the 1970s implied.  As we enter the 21st century, where experts are being challenged and health is being seen as commodity to be bought and sold, patients are seen as customers within the current liberal capitalist society. Understanding medicalisation as a one way process (doctor to society) as the consequence of medical dominance is clearly inadequate. By evaluating thesociological and philosophical foundations of dementia, it might offer a way of approaching the current conceptions of dementia care. Which may be for the better in understanding the implications and benefits of medicalisation, in relation to this particular illness. Thorough analysis of medicalisation presents a challenge to the biomedical view of dementia as a disease.

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