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  Mens Sana Monographs
A Monograph Series Devoted To The Understanding Of Medicine, Mental Health, Man, Mind, Music And Their Matrix
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 122-133

Medicalization: Current concept and future directions in a Bionic Society

Ph. D. in Sociology (Bologna University), Associate Professor Bologna University and Visiting Professor. Brown University

Correspondence Address:
Antonio Maturo
Dipartimento di Sociologia - Universitą di Bologna, Strada Maggiore 45, 40125 Bologna, Italy

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1229.91587

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The article illustrates the main features of the concept of medicalization, starting from its theoretical roots. Although it is the process of extending the medical gaze on human conditions, it appears that medicalization cannot be strictly connected to medical imperialism anymore. Other "engines" of medicalization are influential: consumers, biotechnology and managed care. The growth of research and theoretical reflections on medicalization has led to the proposal of other parallel concepts like pharmaceuticalization, genetization and biomedicalization. These new theoretical tools could be useful in the analysis of human enhancement. Human enhancement can be considered as the use of biomedical technology to improve performance on a human being who is not in need of a cure: a practice that is increasingly spreading in what might be defined as a "bionic society".

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