Television and Health Responsibility in an Age of Individualism

Television and Health Responsibility in an Age of Individualism

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American society centers on individualism, celebrating personal choice even at the expense of collective progress. As part of this emphasis on agency, Americans value freedom for health decisions, and individual health professionals and consumers are held responsible for the nation's health, often at the expense of improving the overall healthcare system. Such individualistic discourse, disseminated and reinforced through American media, has created resistance and hostility toward health policy initiatives such as the Affordable Care Act and other legislation aimed to improve American healthcare. Television and Health Responsibility in an Age of Individualism examines the relationship between entertainment and health responsibility in the United States. Through the analysis of contemporary television medical dramas, Foss explores how these media texts help shape and perpetuate ideologies that have and continue to encourage resistance to healthcare reform that shifts responsibility away from individuals to government and other more

Product details

  • Hardback | 132 pages
  • 158 x 230 x 20mm | 359.99g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 073918993X
  • 9780739189931

About Katherine A. Foss

Katherine A. Foss is associate professor in the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State more

Review quote

Foss did a rigorous textual analysis of these medical dramas and captured the individualistic tones and messages concerning people's health decisions. Communication Booknotes Quarterly Scholarly yet accessible, Television and Health Responsibility in an Age of Individualism offers insight into how television medical dramas influence our views of and responsibility for health care. Using social reality theory and the dominant American ideology of individualism, Foss helps explain the difficulty in bettering health care on a systemic level in the United States, and suggests ways television drama can help or hurt in this endeavor. The book is an entertaining and thoughtful critical analysis of a television genre and a timely reflection of health care, as Americans struggle with obesity and rising health care costs. -- Lynn Spangler, State University of New York at New Paltzshow more

Table of contents

Preface: The Suspension of Disbelief and Medical Drama Chapter 1: The Health Responsibility Paradox and Televised Medical Dramas Chapter 2: The Doctor as Reaper, Hero, and Flawed Professional: Early American Medicine and its Shifting Representations Chapter 3: "I have my hand on a bomb. I'm freaking out. And most importantly, I really have to pee.": American Health Care, 1970s-2000s and its Flawed Heroes Chapter 4: "When we make mistakes, people die!" (Or do they?): TV Medical Errors and the Code of Silence Chapter 5: "If you had only...": "Preventable" Conditions and Patient Responsibility Chapter 6: "But Dr., I read online that...": Patient Responsibility for "Non-preventable" Conditions Chapter 7: Beyond Medical Dramas: Connecting Media to Contemporary Health Careshow more

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