The Social Force of Diagnosis

Alcohol Free Forever

Online Alcohol Therapy

Get Instant Access

Concepts of disease have been used to impose political judgments. For example, in the United States prior to the

Civil War it was proposed that the flight of a slave to the North and the absence of a wholesome inclination to do effective plantation work were diseases for which explanatory accounts and treatments could be provided (Cartwright). Masturbation was once viewed as a serious disease for which castration, excision of the clitoris, and other invasive therapies were employed. Individuals were even determined to have died of masturbation, and postmortem findings "substantiated" this cause (Engelhardt, 1974). In the case of the diseases of slaves, the motivation may have been to protect slaves from punishment. In the case of masturbation, the influence of cultural values on the psychology of discovery was not appreciated.

Historical perspective can increase our awareness that medical practitioners and researchers have tended to "discover" what already was assumed. More recent political uses of disease concepts (e.g., in psychiatry) have been closely connected with repressive goals and political agendas of certain governments. Social employment of disease definitions is often meant to be benevolent, however, such as advocating a view of alcoholism and drug addiction as diseases so as to recruit the forces of medicine to aid in their control. Moreover, such conditions may be termed diseases in order to relieve alcoholics and drug addicts of the social opprobria that attend what is often viewed as immoral behavior.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Beat The Battle With The Bottle

Beat The Battle With The Bottle

Alcoholism is something that can't be formed in easy terms. Alcoholism as a whole refers to the circumstance whereby there's an obsession in man to keep ingesting beverages with alcohol content which is injurious to health. The circumstance of alcoholism doesn't let the person addicted have any command over ingestion despite being cognizant of the damaging consequences ensuing from it.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment