Medications play a large role in American society and this role increases as the years pass. There are two trends in biomedicine that demonstrate this, Medicalization (1950-1985) and Biomedicalization (1985-present). The Medicalization time is described as “the control over bodies and behaviors through medical interventions” such as antibiotics like penicillin. During this era medication was seen more as a cure to more serious aliments, for example life-threatining illnesses. After WWII and continuing into present time American society has adapted the trend of Biomedicalization, which is described as the “the enhancement of bodies and behaviors through medical interventions”. This trend demonstrates our ideologies of the more customizable body and self-medicating. For example, if someone doesn’t like their nose they go get plastic surgery to change it, losing your hair? well go buy some rogan, and if your feeling down today take a pill. This demonstrates how our cultural values and ideologies about health has changed; they’ve gone from using medication to survive to customizing your body depending on what is considered admirable or successful in todays society. A main reason why our society cares so much about changing your body to follow popular trends to appear “successful” or “attractive” is because medications are so commercialized. Use see adds for “miracle drugs” everywhere that can fix any problem you think you have, and this is only worsened by celebrity endorsements. While some celebrity endorsements are beneficial like Michael J. Fox and Christopher Reeves, who raise awareness and raise money for illnesses and their treatments; other celebrities endorse medications that they don’t personally know the potential side effects. Another example of our changing ideologies was the example of the medicalization of menstruation. What used to be considered a completely normal and healthy bodily function is now seen as an annoyance or evil and needs to be medicated.
<a href=”http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/02/26/business/adco450.jpg”>Lunesta Ad</a>
The cultural values/ideologies of this advertisement are that “normal” people always fall asleep right away and can get at least eight hours of sleep at night without waking up and if you personally cannot do that you should talk to your doctor about this medication. The social roles are that the man who uses Lunesta wakes up early and refreshed most likely for a job of some sort so he would be considered a “successful” man in society. The presentation of medical information is that with this pill you can walk up refreshed and ready to take on your day and that this medication can improve your daily life. The real medical information is printed in much smaller writing at the bottom of the ad. There is no real doctor/patient interactions for this medication except that it is stating that you need a prescription to be on Lunesta so you have to consult a doctor. Other advertising strategies would be the presentation of the man; he looks really happy in this ad as if he just woke up from a great nights sleep. Also the background color of the ad seems to depict a peaceful sunny morning.