¿Normal o patológico? El enfermo imaginario en tierra de nadie

Arbor 189 (763):a068 (2013)
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Is the boundary between the normal and the pathological real or fiction? Are health and disease just a matter of fact or are they value-laden? Here we present some examples of how alleged diseases can be invented and propagated by the industry (disease mongering) or by the methodology of medical science itself. We show that the boundary between health and disease is blurred and depends on individual and social representations, culture relative ways of categorising things and people, and by the society’s degree of medicalisation. However, we do not mean that it is not real, rather that it is more complex than expected, as the subjectivity of social constructions and individual experiences makes them no less real. Finally, we conclude that health and disease belong to both objective and subjective kinds of reality, so the fictional can be real.

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Alberto Molina-Pérez
Instituto de Estudios Sociales Avanzados (IESA-CSIC)


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