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'About a year before the breakdown I was having symptoms': sadness, pathology and the Australian newspaper media

Rowe, R., Tilbury, F., Rapley, M. and O'Ferrall, I. (2003) 'About a year before the breakdown I was having symptoms': sadness, pathology and the Australian newspaper media. Sociology of Health and Illness, 25 (6). pp. 680-696.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.00365
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Abstract

Portrayals of mental illness in the media reportedly highlight violence and crime by the 'mentally ill'. Using a discourse analytic approach we investigated representations of 'depression' in the print media in Australia during the year 2000. Unlike other 'mental illnesses', in the case of depression the media stress the need for the protection of the sufferer, rather than others. Three key discourses are identified - the biomedical, the psycho-social and the administrative/managerial - which work to normalise depression by presenting it as beyond the control of the afflicted individual: a consequence of faulty brain chemistry or the product of social conditions. These discourses work together to produce unhappiness as individualised pathology in need of management through biological, psychological or social structural controls.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology
School of Social Inquiry
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Inc.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/2670
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