The Sociological Perspective On Medical Conditions

1687 Words Dec 16th, 2016 7 Pages
The biomedical perspective is used to explain various medical conditions. This can include, but is not limited to using an individual’s body and pathogens to explain poor health. On a different note, the sociological perspective takes on a different approach to explain medical conditions. The sociological perspective focuses on the external influences, rather than then internal influences, such as the social environment, institutions, and relationships to assess and explain illness. The sociological perspective contains the following theories to support its assessment of illness and they are: stigma, labeling theory, and medicalization. These three concepts play a large role in the sociological perspective. According to Freund, stigma is a discrediting label that changes the way an individual is viewed by their society (Freund). Stigma can prevent an individual from being able to connect and relate with the society that they live in because society has placed a judgmental label onto them because of their health condition. Similar to stigma, labeling theory employs the use of labels, but labeling theory observes the behavior of an individual once labeled and why that individual received that label (Freund). Freund also defines medicalization as an act by the medical field that has the power and authority to set the norms of what constitutes as an illness (Freund). Medicalization, labeling, and stigma are all contributors to our understanding of illness at a societal,…
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