3. What are your thoughts about Irving Zola’s argument that medicine as, at least to a large extent, has come to replace other institutions (family, religion) as a form of social control? Can you think of instances/examples in modern day medicine that support—or maybe challenge—Zola’s argument?
Irving Zola's concept on medicine as major social control institution has compromised the traditional religion and family institutions. Zola's concept focusses on medicine as a replacement particularly in the psychiatric field . medicalization refers to process that solves nonmedical related problems by use of medicines.
The concept faces several criticism claiming that psychiatry can not jeopardize medicalization . The use of medicine in managing the society occurs in two ways; the public health and psychiatric . The public health is concerned with changing the people's social life whereas psychiatric domain focusses on rehabilitating the individuals in the society . Medical involvement in managing the society is powerful in reinforcing humanity in the society. Medicalization in social problems compromises religion and family scrutiny to combat punitive actions. When solving the societal problems scientific and medical scrutiny focusses on therapeutically circumstances.
several researchers have found the concept of medicalization significant. However, others have been more critical. Karen and Mary Elston contended that the original concept was strongly associated with medical dominance and that expansionist medicine has been challenged. They further contended that some early accounts of medicalization gave too much emphasis to medicine’s imperialistic tendencies and underplayed its benefits.
We can certainly find assumptions in analyses of medicalization that patients are docile and powerless in the face of medical experts. According to Helen Roberts (1985), women identify patients yet equally we can find those who assume that, while doctors have considerable power and their domain has extended, many patients seek to question and resist medical power and processes of medicalization.
Parsons assumes about patient passivity as lack of technical competence, the combination of helplessness, and emotional disturbance make him a peculiarly vulnerable object for exploitation.
gave explicit attention to medicine’s humanitarian benefits alongside his criticisms of transforming difficult, sometimes disruptive children into psychiatric patients. Another related area of medical expansion concerns obesity, which increases the risk of subsequent health problems, especially type 2 diabetes. According to Jutel (2006), not only is obesity increasing in many countries, but it is also increasingly medicalized and treated with medications or in bariatric surgery