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Soc Sci Med. 2004 Sep;59(6):1275-85.

The medical text: between biomedicine and hegemony.

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  • 1Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University, P.O. Box 653, Beer Sheva 84105, Israel.


The unequal distribution of power in contemporary society is reflected and reproduced in medical ideology. The present article analyses some articles from Israeli medical journals in order to show the ways in which biomedicine--the dominant medical ideology--is reinforced through hegemonic discourse. The central ways by which this is achieved are medicalization--which includes the desocialization of disease and the explanation of social phenomena in medical terms--and the affirmation by the Israeli medical literature of national, ethnic, class and gender relationships of domination. Analysis of the Israeli example provides useful insights about biomedicine's desocializing role, as the disregard for the social dimension of disease is particularly telling in a society characterized by several cleavages which determine a clearly unequal distribution of power and resources.

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