Healthy/Sick

The culture of biomedicine is the social and medical norms of the medical community and how they are changing over time. As in the second lecture, the biomedical culture changed from a medicalization; which is an overall trend of advertising and showing different cures for diseases that were more rampant during that time period. The medicalization turned into a trend of biomedicalization; which is a trend of more improving your body to be the best it can be instead of more of a survival sort of advertisement. This is important because it is easy to see the advertisements that these trends are outputting in your everyday life, whether it be on TV or in ads on the internet giving some sort of pill or treatment that can make you skinnier or grow more hair, etc.

Being healthy or sick is a dichotomy that everyone has to deal with every day of their lives. There is no clear definitive line on what makes you sick or healthy though, so the majority of the decision being more on the physical and mental state of being of the said person. My ideals on this dichotomy have come from my parents rules growing up; that being what would determine when I was sick or not, especially when it came to if I needed to go to school or not.

This dichotomy has been accepted into the western culture mainly because people are always trying to improve themselves and want to seem to be as healthy as possible. This healthiness/sickeness moving into the social scene of western culture. Meaning that if you are sick then you could take medicine to help you to feel healthy again, or at least to seem like you are healthy to everyone else around you. As can be shown in the advertisements around everyone showing how you can become skinnier or grow hair to look as healthy as possible.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Ben Caldwell says:

    The healthy vs. sick dichotomy is an interesting one to take note of, especially with regard to its implication on the medical clinicians. As the author of this post has pointed out, it is easy to say that you are sick when you have the flu or some other illness that has you vomiting every few hours and going through multiple boxes of tissues a day. But it is much harder to say where the defining line between sick and healthy really is. If I take some Dayquil and don’t cough for the next few hours am I really healthy? Or am I not healthy until the symptoms subside without medicine? Everyone may have a different idea of when they are sick or healthy. The lack of definition in this dichotomy is important in how clinicians treat patients, because they rely on the patients report of their illness in order to treat it. If I am taking ten doses of cough medicine a day to treat my cough and I tell my doctor I am healthy, then I may not receive proper treatment. Luckily, I think that most clinicians understand that it is not as simple as “sick or healthy” so they usually use interview type strategies to ascertain how healthy a patient is.

  2. Cherie Griffey says:

    Your post about the healthy or sick dichotomy is quite interesting. People deal with being healthy or sick daily and you’re right there are no clear definite line on exactly makes you sick or healthy. I like how you included the fact that the decision of being healthy or sick is determined by the physical and mental state of the person. That part to me is very important because not a lot of people included your mental state as a factor for being healthy or sick but it has a lot to do with it. Your parent example is a good one; my parents did the same to me except the only way I could get out of school if I was sick if my sickness was very serious. Yes in today’s society everyone wants to be very healthy. When you are faced with a sickness people will do everything just to feel healthy again, no one likes being sick. Being healthy and sick in the western culture is a tricky topic, but it is very important for people to be able to understand this. Being healthy can range from numerous things just like being sick can also range on a total different scale.

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