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

Metaphors of Sickness and Recovery

Metapors of sickness and recovery

Since the time of Aristotle the study of metaphor has been divisive, opposing those who supported its use, on the one hand, with those detractors who deemed metaphor a mere ornamentation, a rhetorical device useful for poets but not worthy of serious analysis (Steen, 1994: 3). Until quite recently it was seen as relevant to the ‘art’ of literary criticism rather than the ‘science’ of linguistics. Indeed, the distinction between science, with its ‘hard facts’, and the ‘arts’ might be exemplified by the rejection or acceptance of figurative language. Even at the turn of the millennium, as Gibbs observes, science denies metaphor any ‘autonomous cognitive content’:

Modern positivists do not radically alter the standard view of metaphor ...

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