Biomedicalization: Technoscientific Transformations of Health, Illness, and U.S. Biomedicine

  title={Biomedicalization: Technoscientific Transformations of Health, Illness, and U.S. Biomedicine},
  author={Adele E. Clarke and Janet K Shim and Laura Mamo and Jennifer Ruth Fosket and Jennifer R. Fishman},
  journal={American Sociological Review},
The first social transformation of American medicine institutionally established medicine by the end of World War II. In the next decades, medicalization-the expansion of medical jurisdiction, authority, and practices into new realms-became widespread. Since about 1985, dramatic changes in both the organization and practices of contemporary biomedicine, implemented largely through the integration of technoscientific innovations, have been coalescing into what the authors call biomedicalization… 

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Though there has been a major shift in the role of the medical consumer since the 1970s and a general recognition of patients’ rights to meaningful information about their health and illness conditions, biomedicine holds significant authority over peoples’ lives to the degree that biomedicalization now involves the production of individual and collective identities that are constructed through technoscientific means.

Medicalization and Biomedicalization Revisited: Technoscience and Transformations of Health, Illness and American Medicine

The still robust medicalization thesis is that the legitimate jurisdiction of Western or scientific medicine began expanding by including new domains of human life by redefining or reconstructing them as falling properly within medical (rather than legal, religious, etc.) domains.

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  • Medicine, Political Science
    Anadolu Kliniği Tıp Bilimleri Dergisi
  • 2022
Today, many phenomena including birth, childhood, eating and drinking habits, mental states, adolescence, sexuality, pregnancy, agedness or death have been included in the field of medicine, and medicine has declared its sovereignty in the authors' lives.

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‚Biomedizin‘ in sozial- und kulturwissenschaftlichen Beiträgen

During its career in North American social sciences and anthropology since the late 1960s the concept of ‘biomedicine’ acquired a large variety of meanings, sometimes even contradictory ones, and has to be carefully considered in any reading of past and recent literature.

Recovery From Heart Attack, Biomedicalization, and the Production of a Contingent Health Citizenship

Through an analysis driven by the biomedicalization thesis of Clarke, alongside work on biopower and the governmentality of health by Foucault, Rose, and Rabinow, new insights are provided into the process of cardiac recovery and the relationship between individual experience and broader socio-political processes.

From Medicine to Health: The Proliferation and Diversification of Cultural Authority

Focusing on the United States, a proliferation and diversification of cultural authority is found, reflecting a partial movement from the domain of medicine into new terrains of health.

Reflexive Biomedicalization and Alternative Healing Systems

This paper challenges this thesis and offers an alternative explanation, arguing that the rise of alternative medicine is a consequence of the success and expanding influence of biomedicine rather than its failure and declining authority.

Origins and Orientations of Medicine and Health: A Socio-historical Overview

This chapter has analysed the historical progression of medicine and health approaches through the ancient, medieval and modern times. From a mythological to religious to rational to holistic and



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"In this provocative ethnography, Hogle reveals how the uses of human tissue and organs as therapeutic agents are intimately related not only to expanding arenas of commodification, but also to the

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The time is ripe for anthropologists to (re)consider the role of technology in Western biomedicine.

Medicine as an Institution of Social Control

It is shown that medicine is becoming a major institution of social control, nudging aside, if not incorporating, the more traditional institutions of religion and law, and is becoming the new repository of truth.

Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge

  • S. Epstein
  • Political Science, Medicine
    Nature Medicine
  • 1997
In the short, turbulent history of AIDS research and treatment, the boundaries between scientist insiders and lay outsiders have been crisscrossed to a degree never before seen in medical history.

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  • J. MckinlayJ. Stoeckle
  • Political Science, Medicine
    International journal of health services : planning, administration, evaluation
  • 1988
The major theoretical explanations of the social transformation of medical work under advanced capitalism are outlined and the adequacy of the prevailing view of professionalism (Freidson's notion of professional dominance) is considered, and an alternative view is offered.

The Social Transformation of American Medicine

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Medicalized Motherhood: Perspectives from the Lives of African-American and Jewish Women

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The Global Traffic in Human Organs1

A late‐20th‐century global trade in bodies, body parts, desires, and invented scarcities is mapped, inspired by Sweetness and Power, which traces the colonial and mercantilist routes of enslaving tastes and artificial needs.