• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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

The Media, Expert Opinion and Health Scares
The media, expert opinion and health scares

In the last chapter we looked at the issue of power asymmetry in the medical consultation and saw how the doctor's professional position and assumed scientific knowledge maintains legitimacy through consensus. Traditionally, patients are given the ‘facts’ by professionals who know. Likewise, the conventional construction of professional ‘voice’ in media stories on health and illness functions as a vital element in the presentation of medical facts as authoritative and legitimized. From British and American television dramas of the 1960s, such as Dr Finlay's Casebook and Dr Kildare, up to and including more recent shows like Casualty and ER this identification of the (predominantly male) doctor as an heroic figure invested with almost ...

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