The role of medication has become a popular and seemingly necessary for life in western society. Americans rely on medications to solve their medical problems no matter how minor. Medicalization is the control over bodies and behaviors through medical interventions. This is a major component on why Americans turn to medicine to help solve their medical issues today and why it is seen as a necessary element in life. Biomedicalization is the enhancement of bodies and behaviors through medical interventions. This is a major component of why Americans attempt to better (enhance) their bodies and health even if there is nothing apparently medically wrong with them. Both of these are why in American society today it is seen as normal to take pills everyday. As we saw in the video “pill poppers” erectile dysfunction is a health problem that affects a lot of men. The men affected by the medical problem would take pills to correct it (medicalization). However, other men that didn’t have this medical problem would take the erectile dysfunction pills to enhance their sexual experiences even though they did not have the problem themselves and could preform normally without the pills (biomedicalization). I think this example says a lot about our cultures ideologies on medicine. Have a medical problem? Take some pills to correct it. Don’t have a medical problem? Take some pills anyways to enhance yourself. In American culture, being the best at your specific role in society is important. Because of this is why it has become so normal to take medications in order to enhance ourselves and be the best we can be in our specific roles. As we read in the Hyperactive Children to ADHD Adults… article are adults who are supposedly ADHD. Since ADHD typically occurs in children it was seen as a far-fetched possibility when adults were suddenly being diagnosed with the illness that didn’t previously have it as a child. As stated by the article “the environment in which ADHD symptoms occurred had expanded to the workplace…” (564). Are these adults really ADHD or do they just want an enhancement to help them focus in order to preform better at work? Whether the adults were or weren’t really ADHD doesn’t really matter. What matters is that it shows how valuable in American society it is to perform tasks given to us the best we can even if that means taking pills to aid us in achieving success.
The condition I chose that is heavily medicated in our society is acne. Here is the link to the acne treatment advertisement called Epiduo http://www.epiduo.com/tv_commercials.aspx
Acne is a major medical issue that affects many people in America. It can affect all ages. Acne runs in my family, pretty much everyone has struggled with it, and my grandfather still has scars from his acne. My aunts who are in their forties still get acne to this day. Anyways, this specific ad targets teenagers and younger people (twenties). I first saw this commercial on MTV so that could be why it targets the specific population it does because most people that watch MTV are younger. This ad says a lot about our cultural values and ideologies. It emphasizes the importance of having flawless, smooth, and cleanly looking skin. Clean beautiful skin is important in American society. It is so important that some people with the medical problem go tanning, diet, and preform other various rituals in order to clear up their skin. It also emphasizes the ideology that even if you don’t have this problem you should still buy the gel (and that having flawless skin is important) because it has chemicals in it that treat current acne breakouts and prevent future ones (duo in the Epiduo). As for social roles this is something that most people encounter in their lives when going through puberty therefore this is why it targets the age group it does because it is part of a social role/step in this age group to have acne. Older people can have acne as well. However, a lot of people think it is worse to have it when you’re older because it is seen as an adolescent problem. Especially for people that have a high status/social role like a CEO or a business man/woman it is important to be cleanly and flawless. Looking nice and cleanly can show a power status, a high power status to be specific and people are more likely to respect you if you look clean and have great skin. The presentation of medical information as I stated targets the younger adult and adolescent group because this is the group that has the problem the most. In the ad it shows all the ridiculous treatments and home remedies people will try (that don’t work) in order to achieve flawless skin. It shows the teens frustrated with all the other home remedies that aren’t working for them and then shows them trying the Epiduo Gel and being happy because their acne is now going away. It presents the medical information in a hopeful manner by showing teens happy with the results of the product in order to suck more people in to trying the product. As for doctor patient interactions it shows happy doctors prescribing the gel and then happy patients with positive results. The doctors look happy with their patient’s results. This is another way the media/ad is trying to suck people into trying the product. Other advertising strategies that I noticed is that they used people from all races and backgrounds in order to show that it affects all types of people and that this product is working for all of them. This is to widen the consumer base in returns of making more profits off the gel regardless if it actually works or not.
Epiduo. “The Truth About Acne.” Accessed July 28, 2014 .http://www.epiduo.com/tv_commercials.aspx
Potter, Deborah, and Peter Conrad. “From Hyperactive Children to ADHD Adults: Observations on the Expansion of Medical Categories.” Social Problems: 559-582. Accessed July 27, 2014. http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp204-us14/files/2012/06/Conrad-and-Potter-From-hyperactive-children-to-adult-adhd.pdf