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Symbolic Interactionalist Perspective Essay

723 words - 3 pages

Symbolic interactionist’s like to understand the world through understanding the specific meanings and causes that society attributes to particular events. When analyzing health and illness symbolic interactionist’s like to look at individuals or groups and how they give meaning to their particular illness. Then they take that information and see how it affects their relationships with others and how it makes them view themselves. The symbolic interactionist theory also claims that we socially construct health and illness much like we do with race.  For instance if someone spends his days staring at the sun and goes blind people blame him for staring at the sun. They believe that if they do ...view middle of the document...

At the interactional level the doctor will diagnose the patient with restless leg syndrome and treat it as a real medical condition.
Medicalization can be used as an agent of deciding what is and is not deviant. This is referred to as medicalization of deviance. Basically it allows medical professionals decide what is and is not normal and acceptable behavior. For instance if they consider gambling an addiction they could make it deviant behavior to gamble, and actually get gambling institution to change their rules to make it less supportive of a gambling addiction. Keep in mind of course that deviance does not refer to criminal behavior it is simply any behavior that is not in agreement with the norms of whatever society the deviant is in.
As with many things medicalization can be undone. The process of taking a medical illness or disease and removing it from the category of an illness or disease is called demedicalization. Some examples of demedicalization include homosexuality, childbirth, and menopause. Homosexuality because it is no longer considered a mental disorder, childbirth and menopause because women’s health advocates want them to be considered natural processes as opposed to illnesses.
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