Berger’s “esoteric enclaves” illustrated

“An illustration… It is not enough to set up an esoteric subuniverse of medicine. The lay public and the medical fraternity must be held tithe standards of the subuniverse. Thus the general population is intimidated by images of physical doom that follows ‘going against doctor’s advice’; it is persuaded not to do so by the pragmatic benefits of compliance, and by its own horror of illness and death. To underline its authority the medical profession shrouds itself in the age-old symbols of power and mystery [like no pants], from outlandish costume to incomprehensible language, all of which, of course, are legitimated to the public and to itself in pragmatic terms. Meanwhile the fully accredited inhabitants of the medical world are kept from ‘quackery’ (that is, from stepping outside the medical subuniverse in thought or action) not only by the powerful external controls available to the profession, but by a whole body of professional knowledge that offers ‘scientific proof’ of the folly and even wickedness of such deviance. In other words, an entire legitimating machinery is at work so that laymen will remain laymen, and doctors doctors, and (if at all possible) that both will do so happily.”
Peter L. Berger, The Social Construction of Reality, 87-88.

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