Article: Medicalization and Its Clinical Discontents by Samuel Lézé

The article “Medicalization and its clinical discontents”, by Samuel Lézé, published in the Academia Letters, might be of interest to h-madness readers.

The abstract reads:

In this medical anthropology paper, I offer to the discussion a counter-intuitive hypothesis: “medicalization is a clinical judgment inherited by the functionalist sociology of deviance. In that respect, society is an organism that can be afflicted with pathologies. Does this organicist metaphor affect the sociological concept of medicalization and model its subject matter? To make this clear, I will start from (i.) my fieldwork on French psychoanalysis and its discontents which led me to formulate a paradox: psychiatrists are politically resisting the medicalization of psychiatry. Indeed, (ii.) this instance does not fall within the concept of medicalization studies despite recent attempts to save it from major objections. Since, (iii.) the concept’s filiation shows that it retains the negative values of its origin in the German Kulturkritik. This has the methodological consequence (iv) of prompting me to design genealogical analysis on ethnographic materials and study the entire spectrum of values in the judgment formation, their possible transformation from the micro-clinical to the macro-critical scale and vice versa

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