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Concussion, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and the medicalization of sport

chapter
posted on 21.02.2020 by Dominic Malcolm
This chapter explores the development of concussion and CTE as issues in sport, through the lens of medicalisation. It argues that medicalisation processes are evident at three distinct levels: namely at a conceptual, institutional and interactional level. Consequently we see: 1) that biomedical vocabularies have come to structure public understanding of concussion through, e.g. discussions of the power of neuroscience to identify CTE; 2) that biomedical practices are used to “manage” concussion through, e.g., the institutionalisation of diagnostic and return to play protocols; and 3) that biomedical actors have become centrally placed as the ultimate “cure” of the social problem of concussion through, e.g., and assertion of the primacy of “individual clinical judgement” in interpreting and applying concussion guidelines. The paper explores the dynamics and consequences of these processes, highlighting how the unevenness of these process with medicalisation at the conceptual level being considerably more extensive that the efficacy of treatment at the interactional level would warrant. Moreover, it suggests that the disparity between in the extent of moderation over different domains is partly responsible for the heightened level of social concern in relation to concussion and CTE. The chapter concludes with some practical reflections on the consequences of this medicalisation process, locating the enabling and constraining effects within a framework of medical ethics.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Sociocultural Examinations of Sports Concussions

Pages

23-40

Publisher

Routledge

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Sociocultural Examinations of Sports Concussions on 2019-11-18, available online: http://www.routledge.com/9780367134501

Publication date

2019-11-18

Copyright date

2019

ISBN

9780367134501

Book series

Routledge Research in Sport and Exercise Science

Language

en

Editor(s)

Matt Ventresca; Mary G. McDonald

Depositor

Dr Dominic Malcolm . Deposit date: 19 February 2020

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