Deconstructing America’s Ritalin Epidemic: Contrasting American and French Psychostimulant Usage

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dc.contributor.advisor Fligstein, N en
dc.contributor.advisor Hochschild, A en
dc.contributor.advisor Fourcade, M en
dc.contributor.advisor Midanik, L en Vallee, Manuel en 2012-04-03T02:42:04Z en 2009 en 2009 en
dc.identifier.citation Sub type: PhD Thesis. Supervisors: Fligstein N, Hochschild A, Fourcade M, Midanik L. University of California, Berkeley, 2009 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract Psychostimulants (such as Ritalin) are drugs that physicians prescribe to children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Following their introduction in the United States, the use of psychostimulants grew rapidly. However, this has not been the case everywhere, for the US represents 80-85% of the world’s psychostimulant consumption. Moreover, some countries, such as France, recognize ADHD as a medical condition but rarely treat it with medications. The aim of this article is to shed light on the American case. Towards that end, I compare the diagnostic systems used by American and French clinicians, an analysis that yields two important findings. First, the American diagnostic system has a much more liberal definition of ADHD, which leads to higher diagnoses and greater psychostimulant consumption. Second, where the American diagnostic system favors a biological understanding of ADHD and the use of medications to treat it, the French system emphasizes a psycho-social understanding and emphasizes psycho-social treatments (such as psychotherapy, family counseling, etc.). Beyond accounting for American medecine’s predilection for prescribing psychostimulants, this analysis contributes to a sociology of pharmaceuticals by revealing the synergistic relationship between disease classifications, the diagnosis of disease, and the use of pharmaceutical medications. en
dc.publisher Scribd en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Deconstructing America’s Ritalin Epidemic: Contrasting American and French Psychostimulant Usage en
dc.type Thesis en University of California, Berkeley en Doctoral en PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.elements-id 276523 en Arts en Social Sciences en Sociology en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2012-01-20 en

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