Medicalisation means first of all a science – medicine – going beyond its boundaries: from the art of healing individuals, or systematically classifying useful information to treat diseases affecting individuals, it gradually turns into a pervasive development of knowledge and practices that, from the 18th century onward, are applied to collective issues, which traditionally are not regarded as medical issues, thus moving toward large-scale protection of the social body health. The physical wellbeing of people, as well as the protection and improvement of their health condition, become one of the main objectives of the political power, which aims not only at dealing with social marginalisation and poverty to make them productive, but also at “planning society as sphere of physical wellbeing, optimal health and longevity”.


21 March 2006