Media Representation of Science and Health

The Case of Coma

Authored by: Jenny Kitzinger

The Routledge Companion to Global Popular Culture

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415641470
eBook ISBN: 9780203081846
Adobe ISBN: 9781136175961

10.4324/9780203081846.ch29

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Abstract

Media representation of science and health are a key area of concern for researchers interested in the potential of the media to influence society – whether through helping to shape individual behaviours, public debates or the policy agenda. This chapter uses research on ‘coma’ (and associated conditions such as the vegetative state) as a case study for exploring the range of ways in which media coverage can be analysed. I show how researchers from different backgrounds (e.g. film and cultural studies, sociology of science and scientific/clinical practice) have approached such research and highlight their different research designs and findings. I conclude by highlighting the need to take such disciplinary divisions into account – both when reviewing research into the media representation of science and health and when developing such research oneself.

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