Disease Representations in Late Modernity: Lung Cancer Stories in the Canadian Print Media

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Title: Disease Representations in Late Modernity: Lung Cancer Stories in the Canadian Print Media
Authors: Berger, Jessica
Date: 2012
Abstract: The following thesis describes and analyses the representation of lung cancer in the Canadian print media. The thesis employs a theoretical framework comprised of Giddens’ theory of reflexivity and Goffman’s theory of framing, to understand the social dynamics of negotiation behind the disease’s portrayal in the media, in a late modern context. Late modernity was defined by institutional reflexivity and a focus on understanding and mitigating risk. The research was conducted through a content analysis and examined quantitative trends that contributed to a subsequent qualitative interpretation. The results show that the coverage of lung cancer decreased over time. The analysis shows a discourse of a biomedical institution that has unsuccessfully controlled the disease, a lack of patient advocacy, particularly among celebrities, and a continued conflation of smoking behaviour and lung cancer, all of which contributed to the decreasing coverage. The framing processes point to a society focused on understanding risk through studying the disease’s causes, as well as one concerned with legislative debate and behavioural prevention. The emergence of a frame focused on the patient’s lived experience might contribute to an improved representation of the disease.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/23307
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-6044
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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