Advertisement

Pathology, Power, and Medicalization in K-PAX

Chapter
  • 178 Downloads

Abstract

A man (Kevin Spacey) is arrested in New York’s Grand Central Station. He seems out of place. He is not carrying luggage and has no ticket; he has not arrived nor is he departing by train. He is simply there. He claims to be Prot (Prōt), an observer from another planet. The police, there in response to a mugging, question Prot and hastily determine that he is delusional and that he requires evaluation by medical experts. He is sent to the Manhattan Psychiatric Institute for observation and evaluation, where Dr. Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges) attempts to diagnose and correct what is depicted as an obvious abnormality. What has happened here? Agents of law enforcement and criminal justice have deferred to an alternative system of knowledge. One system of knowledge has been deemed inadequate for assessing or dealing with the problem, which ironically has been constructed as a medical-psychiatric problem by agents of law and criminal justice. In determining the problem to be one of medicine and not criminality, Prot is “medicalized.” The process of medicalizing Prot results in his institutionalization, where he is confined and subjected to psychiatric techniques and procedures aimed at extracting the truth about his condition.

Keywords

Social Control Reception Structure Social Power Medical Discourse Disciplinary Power 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Jon Frauley 2010

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations