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Research has found a subgroup of conservative white males have lower perceptions of risk across a variety of environmental and health hazards. Less research has looked at…
Research has found a subgroup of conservative white males have lower perceptions of risk across a variety of environmental and health hazards. Less research has looked at the views of these “low risk” individuals in group interactions. Through qualitative analysis of a technology deliberation, we note that white men expressing low risk views regarding technologies for energy and the environment also often express high social risks around potential loss of control. We argue these risk perceptions reflect identification with corporate concerns, usually framed in opposition to government and mirroring arguments made by conservative organizations. We situate these views within the broader cultural struggle over who has the power to name and address risks.
Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to theorize the relationship between diagnosis and medicalization through an examination of the medicalization of childhood gender variance and the Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood diagnosis.
Methodology/approach – The chapter examines textual data (published clinical and research literatures, and critiques of the diagnosis appearing in a range of venues) to track how childhood gender variance is medicalized over time and the role of diagnosis in that medicalization.
Findings – While diagnosis certainly plays a role in shoring up medicalization, this case study reveals the many ways in which diagnoses may also become key tools in attempts to curtail medicalization.
Research limitations/implications – As a case study, the findings are not generalizable to all diagnoses. As a study of an instance of the medicalization of deviance, these findings may be particularly applicable to analogous cases.
Social implications – These findings show the sometimes tenuous nature of medicalization processes, and the social uses of diagnoses in those processes.
Originality/value of paper – This chapter sheds light on a relationship that is often assumed to be unidirectional (e.g., that the formation of diagnosis results in increased medicalization), and answers calls for a more nuanced sociology of diagnosis, including greater attention to the relationship between diagnosis and medicalization.
Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, one of the many techniques used by physicians and psychiatrists to diagnose patients involved external and highly public examination. Typically conducted as a lecture to other medical experts and students, the patient was placed in the center of a round room with onlookers arranged in tiered seating to guarantee an unobstructed view. As the lead physician detailed the list of symptoms, using the patient's body as an illustration, observers witnessed the behavioral signs for themselves and discussed the possible underlying conditions or pathologies. This process of consultation and naming worked to increase the relative reliability among experts and bolster the professional reputations of medicine and psychiatry alike (Conrad & Schneider, 1992; Gillis, 2006; Grob & Horwitz, 2010). As researchers have noted (Aronowitz, 2001; Foucault, 1973), this change from focusing on disparate, idiosyncratic symptoms as expressions of individual illness to a system that recognized disease states comprised of symptom clusters marks a historical turning point in the history of medicine. The shift toward a classification scheme that linked medicine with science and technology bolstered medical authority and the power of physicians. In addition to professional credentials, accumulated knowledge, and institutional legitimacy, the authority of modern medicine both rests on and is expressed by medicine's decisive power to name and categorize through diagnosis (Jutel, 2009). Even as medical prestige has eroded, ceding some of its power to other entities,1 physicians remain the final arbiter of official medical categories (Pescosolido, 2006), judges of what is, and what is not, a “real” diagnosis. In the diagnostic process, one looks within to reveal the nature of disease from without – empirical observation becomes immutable fact. Of course, as critical perspectives on medicine have long pointed out (Conrad & Schneider, 1992; Zola, 1972), the scientific “fact” of one time and place is the mythology or ignorance of another. Diagnosis, as both category and process (Blaxter, 1978), is infused with all manner of things social, historical, and cultural. This volume explores some of these infusions. In so doing, it aims to clarify and contribute to the emerging sociology of diagnosis – an endeavor first called for by Brown (1990), but more recently revived by Jutel (2009).
Towns and cities across Canada face rapidly changing economic circumstances and many are turning to a variety of strategies, including tourism, to provide stability in…
Towns and cities across Canada face rapidly changing economic circumstances and many are turning to a variety of strategies, including tourism, to provide stability in their communities. Community Economic Development (CED) has become an accepted form of economic development, with recognition that such planning benefits from a more holistic approach and community participation. However, much of why particular strategies are chosen, what process the community undertakes to implement those choices and how success is measured is not fully understood. Furthermore, CED lacks a developed theoretical basis from which to examine these questions. By investigating communities that have chosen to develop their tourism potential through the use of murals, these various themes can be explored. There are three purposes to this research: (1) to acquire an understanding of the “how” and the “why” behind the adoption and diffusion of mural-based tourism as a CED strategy in rural communities; (2) to contribute to the emerging theory of CED by linking together theories of rural geography, rural change and sustainability, and rural tourism; and (3) to contribute to the development of a framework for evaluating the potential and success of tourism development within a CED process.
Two levels of data collection and analysis were employed in this research. Initially, a survey of Canadian provincial tourism guides was conducted to determine the number of communities in Canada that market themselves as having a mural-based tourism attraction (N=32). A survey was sent to these communities, resulting in 31 responses suitable for descriptive statistical analysis, using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). A case study analysis of the 6 Saskatchewan communities was conducted through in-depth, in person interviews with 40 participants. These interviews were subsequently analyzed utilizing a combined Grounded Theory (GT) and Content Analysis approach.
The surveys indicated that mural development spread within a relatively short time period across Canada from Chemainus, British Columbia. Although tourism is often the reason behind mural development, increasing community spirit and beautification were also cited. This research demonstrates that the reasons this choice is made and the successful outcome of that choice is often dependent upon factors related to community size, proximity to larger populations and the economic (re)stability of existing industry. Analysis also determined that theories of institutional thickness, governance, embeddedness and conceptualizations of leadership provide a body of literature that offers an opportunity to theorize the process and outcomes of CED in rural places while at the same time aiding our understanding of the relationship between tourism and its possible contribution to rural sustainability within a Canadian context. Finally, this research revealed that both the CED process undertaken and the measurement of success are dependent upon the desired outcomes of mural development. Furthermore, particular attributes of rural places play a critical role in how CED is understood, defined and carried out, and how successes, both tangible and intangible, are measured.
Anselm is perhaps best known for creating the grounded theory method with Barney G. Glaser. The Discovery of Grounded Theory was a cutting-edge book that fueled the…
Anselm is perhaps best known for creating the grounded theory method with Barney G. Glaser. The Discovery of Grounded Theory was a cutting-edge book that fueled the qualitative revolution. I agree – strongly – with Norm Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln (1994, p. ix) that a qualitative revolution has taken place in the United States. The Discovery book arrived on the sociological scene at just the right time. Quantitative research had become systematic and quantitative researchers saw their work as “scientific.” The worship of a narrow conception of science abounded. By the time Anselm studied at Chicago, qualitative scholars had moved from life histories to case studies and established a rich ethnographic tradition that shaped Chicago School sociology in the 1940s. Yet, by the time Barney and Anselm wrote The Discovery of Grounded Theory in 1967, quantification was becoming entrenched as “the” sociological method. The ethnographic tradition was losing ground.