The possibilities of medical sociology in terms of social control

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Uludağ Üniversitesi, Turkey

Approval Date: 2013

Thesis Language: Turkish




This study aims to analyse the possibilities of medical sociology discipline in terms of social control. In order to research on these possibilities, first a general investigation is done about the disciplines of both sociology of body and medical sociology. These investigations in question point out that the body and the institutions forming the body are socially constructed. Subsequently, the study concentrates on the institution of medicine and the historical conditions of its situating itself as the only dominant over the body are examined. The conclusion reached is that the knowledge presented as scientific, objective, value-free about sickness and health is produced within the power relations. It is realized that the body of individual has been disciplined and normalized by the modern medicine through the power relations in question. It is recognized that the condition of medicine functioning as a social control is the use of increasing numbers of medical paradigms in explaining human experience.Post 1980 economic and social transformations are also the reason for the transformation in the structure of medicine. Hospital centered medical control is replaced by the medical control of daily life while the institutional structures are transformed into much more elastic control devices and cover the living spaces of individuals. Discourses such as healthy life and risk transformed individuals to the subjects who control themselves by encouraging the practices of individuals on their own bodies. The concept of bio-power has also its share from this transformation and it has become something that can only be understood by acknowledging norm producing -not norm observing- technologies and the power relations producing them.