Theories and the Rise and Fall of the Medical Profession

Chapter

Abstract

The modern profession of medicine stands among the powerful, if not the most powerful, of occupational groups in contemporary society. Medicine and its practitioners are the arbiters of life and death; of possibilities realized, possibilities reclaimed and possibilities dashed; and of evaluations of “normal” and “abnormal.” The expansion of medicine’s claim over more and more life spheres has been chronicled and criticized (see Olafsdottir, Conrad, both in this volume). In contemporary society, we turn to physicians to understand what we do, what we should eat, and whether we should punish or treat those who step outside society’s norms. And, despite claims that the power of the medical profession may be waning, no viable alternatives have come forth to replace the allopathic system. Even “complementary alternative medicine” (both indigenous and New Age) has been absorbed, transformed, or otherwise brought under its jurisdiction.

Keywords

Sociological Theory Complementary Alternative Medicine Scientific Medicine Carnegie Foundation Germ Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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