Home Medicine articles Medicalization
Medicalization means an expansion of the
medical institution and reviewing deviance and all the processes
of human life from a medical perspective.
Irvin K. Zola is the father of the concept.
In the medicalization process the power of medicine extends
to before non-medical areas, there are ever more diagnoses.
The concept can be determined in many ways.
Usually social scientists talk about medicalization considering
the status of medicine: doctors control people. In a narrower
sense medicalization means that human decisions (both on a personal
and a common level) increasingly rest on health consciousness.
As an antithesis for medicalization there is
the process of paramedicalization: emphasis on health beliefs
outside medicine is increasing. Even if medicalization and paramedicalization
are contradictory, they also feed each other: they both ensure,
that the questions of health and illness stay in sharp focus.