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Narratives: Health Campaigns

  • By: Jeff Niederdeppe
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

The term narrative has been defined in many different ways across epistemologies, disciplines, and research objectives. Matthew Kreuter, along with several other health communication scholars, offered a definition that provides considerable flexibility toward understanding the ways that narratives have been and can be used in health campaigns: “a representation of connected events and characters that has an identifiable structure, is bounded in space and time, and contains implicit or explicit messages about the topic being addressed.” This definition acknowledges several dimensions that appear central to many definitions of the concept, including the presence of interrelationships between characters, plot, structure, time, and settings. By acknowledging that narratives carry messages about a particular topic being addressed, the definition also connects with ideas central to “health campaigns,” which ...

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