Define medicalization in sociological terms.


A major component of the sociological discussion of health and illness concerns an analysis of how problems that were previously not considered medical in nature are now a part of the province of medicine. This process, known as medicalization, describes how remedial efforts in the nonmedical realm to solve certain social problems are now given over to modern medicine as a topic of discussion and treatment. The purpose of this assignment is to define medicalization and offer an important commentary about the spread of this social trend in society today.



Construct a 4-6 page paper that fully satisfies these four areas:

  1. Define medicalization in sociological terms.
  2. Explain three major ways in which medicalization has been able to flourish in modern society.
  3. Describe one mental or physical illness that has become medicalized, apply sociological concepts to analyze how this illness has become medicalized.
  4. Finally, offer a commentary about whether or not you think the medicalization of this problem is warranted. In other words, do you think that medicalization, in the example you’ve chosen, is unnecessary? Why or why not?

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