In this book Richard Gwyn demonstrates the centrality of discourse analysis to an understanding of health and communication. Focusing on language and communication issues he demonstrates that it is possible to observe and analyze patterns in the ways in which health and illness are represented and articulated by both health professionals and lay people. Communicating Health and Illness: · Explores culturally validated notions of health and sickness and the medicalization of illness · Surveys media representations of health and illness · Considers the metaphoric nature of talk about illness · Contributes to the ongoing debate in relation to narrative based medicine
Chapter 1: The Body, Disease and Discourse
The Body, Disease and Discourse
Illness is constructed, reproduced and perpetuated through language. We get to know about our own illnesses through the language of doctors and nurses, friends and relatives, and we often recycle the words picked up from our consultations in the doctor's surgery into conversation, sprinkling our stories of sickness with epithets that give the impression of a grander knowledge of medical science. When we open the newspapers or switch on the television or radio, we encounter an increasing variety of articles and programmes offering information, advice and warnings about every conceivable dimension of health and care of the body.
This concern with health issues is not new, but has never before been so omnipresent. We are saturated with ...