Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Gerald Markle

Second Advisor

Dr. Angela Moe

Third Advisor

Dr. Victoria Ross

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


My research explores cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as a case study of demedicalization. I will use an instrumental case study method to examine the history and setting of CPR. In order to gain a stronger understanding of CPR in particular, I will look in depth at the actors and organizations involved in the development, medicalization, and demedicalization of CPR. The purpose of this study is to better grasp how demedicalization occurs in a more general context by looking through the lens of CPR. I will adapt a framework that is used for examining medicalization authored by Peter Conrad (1980), to allow for the examination of cases of demedicalization. This study will look for the criteria developed by Conrad within the case of CPR as well as make comparisons of how this framework fits with other cases of demedicalization.

This research is important within the overall literature because not much has been written concerning demedicalization. The fact that CPR meets all criteria for demedicalization greatly increases our knowledge of the phenomenon and it gives credence to Conrad's framework as a relevant tool for understanding this process. If demedicalization is to become a legitimate alternative in our examination of medicine and, if our society is to see progress away from medicalization, then we should be searching out cases, such as CPR, in order to more fully illuminate this phenomenon.

Included in

Sociology Commons