Medicine as power: "Creates new categories of sick people"
Antropython is the name of a blog by a student of anthropology at the University of Oslo. She has started to blog in English (previously only in Polish), so here is an excerpt from an interesting post by her on the power of medicine and how medicine changes our conceptions of the healthy body. Antropyton reviews the article "What do we mean by health?" by anthropologist Veena Das:
My reading of Das is that the emergence of discipline of geriatrics has brought about new definition of a healthy and “normal” body and has caused confusion between individual and social identities. It has also created a new category of sick people – the older ones. New definition of health has caused that aging has been reconceptualized as a disease and the ideology of the perfectly ordered body, which can be achieve through medicaments, as a sign of normalcy dominates the image of life cycle. Behaviour and health conditions, once normal and even noble (Kawagley, Turnbull), have been transformed to disability and this one to sickness that requires medical treatment.
Interesting reading also her thoughts before going on her first fieldwork