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



This book sets out to introduce a range of themes in the field of health communication that are linked by a common approach, which gives centrality to the notion of ‘discourse’. Discourse is used here both in its broad sense, as a way of thinking about and representing some aspect of reality (as in ‘discourse of war‘, ‘discourse of medicine or ‘discourse of globalization’), as well as the specific manner in which language, texts and images are produced and reproduced in order to achieve particular communicative or ideological ends.

The field to which this study applies falls within what has become known as ‘health communication’. Working on the premise that talk is a form of activity, and that spoken, written and visual discourses help constitute ...

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