In the United States, contradictions related to medicine use abound in a social environment in which the pursuit of health has become a cultural project.
In a marketplace where over half a million health products are available, choices at once seem to foster agency and encourage dependency on medical fixes.
The aggressive marketing of medicines as indispensable commodities co-exits with rising concerns among the lay population about what is safe in the short-and long-term.
In this paper we broadly consider medication-related practice in the United States as it is affected by social, cultural, and political-economic factors.
We direct attention to changes in medicine use related to product proliferation, lowered thresholds of discomfort, the economics of health care, and a revival of the self-help ethic.
We also consider the manner in which the demand for and use of medications reflect deeply embedded cultural ideals and emergent perceptions of need.
We juxtapose two trends in American thinking about medicines : (1) the perception that « more is better, » associated with cultural impatience with illness ; and (2) a growing doubt about medicine necessity, safety, and efficacy.
Mots-clés Pascal : Médicament, Perception sociale, Médecine, Automédication, Médecine parallèle, Homme, Changement comportement, Utilisateur, Etats Unis, Amérique du Nord, Amérique, Tendance, Article synthèse, Soin autogéré
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Drug, Social perception, Medicine, Self prescription, Alternative medicine, Human, Behavior change, User, United States, North America, America, Trend, Review
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Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 97-0289922
Code Inist : 002B30A11. Création : 15/07/1997.