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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.