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Gender and the Medicalization of Healthcare

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Abstract

Medicalization is a key concept of modernity, ubiquitously used in the social and medical sciences since the 1970s. We begin by adopting what sociologist Peter Conrad calls its essential meaning: ‘defining a problem in medical terms, usually as an illness or disorder, or using a medical intervention to treat it’ (Conrad, 2005: 3, emphasis in the original). In this large and growing field, scholars generally agree that medicalization was a critical — if not fundamental — transformation of the 20th century. As we will show in this chapter, scholars disagree about its definitions, its connection with the dynamics and conceptual apparatuses of modernity and a global economy, and its cultural situatedness.

Keywords

  • Gender Identity Disorder
  • Medical Sociology
  • Trans People
  • Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool
  • Gender Body

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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© 2012 Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited

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Bell, S.E., Figert, A.E. (2012). Gender and the Medicalization of Healthcare. In: Kuhlmann, E., Annandale, E. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Gender and Healthcare. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137295408_8

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