Reflections on the centrality of power in medical sociology: An empirical test and theoretical elaboration

Broom, Alex
December 2006
Health Sociology Review;Dec2006, Vol. 15 Issue 5, p496
Academic Journal
This paper explores the contemporary relevance of sociological theorisations centred on medical power, including the medical dominance and deprofessionalisation theses. To achieve this it examines two issues that have been tentatively linked to the relative decline of the power and autonomy of biomedicine - complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and the Internet-informed patient. Drawing on these two different but interconnected social phenomena, this paper reflects on the potential limitations of power-based theorisations of the medical profession and its relationship to patients and other non-biomedically situated professional groups. It is argued that power-based conceptual schemas may not adequately reflect the non-linear and complex strategic adaptations that are occurring among professional groups.


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