Medicalization of Social Control; Healthcare System, Sale and Consumption of Medications in Poland Cover Image

Medykalizacja kontroli społecznej. Opieka zdrowotna, sprzedaż i konsumpcja leków w Polsce
Medicalization of Social Control; Healthcare System, Sale and Consumption of Medications in Poland

Author(s): Jolanta Buczek, Paweł Poławski
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Instytut Profilaktyki Społecznej i Resocjalizacji UW
Keywords: healthcare system; medicalization; medications; social control

Summary/Abstract: The term “medicalization” is mainly used in sociology in two contexts. First of all, it refers to such style of response to social problems in which issues acute for the collective life, as well as associated individual behaviors are interpreted in relation to knowledge and expertise of professional medical practice. Second of all, medicalization is understood as a cultural process which results in both the expansion of medical knowledge in different areas of the collective life (not only those where deviant behaviors appear) and the penetration of medical ideologies and ways of thinking into social consciousness. The medicalization has brought changes in the functioning of mechanisms of social control, not only towards deviant behaviors but also towards the functioning of individuals in their “normal” social roles. Medical technologies, various therapies and pharmacology give individuals stability in their social roles and regulate several everyday routines. This assumption remains the most important thesis of the paper. Our basic question is to what extent Polish society is “pharmacologized”, i.e. to what extent medicine and pharmacology pervade everyday life of Poles, by potentially regulating their behaviors and being “the vehicle” of social control. The tentative answer is based on the analysis of available statistical data concerning healthcare in Poland (including psychiatric and psychological healthcare) as well as data showing the structure of sale and trade in medications.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 12
  • Page Range: 82-100
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Polish