Date of Thesis Acceptance
Major Department or Program
This thesis addresses media representations of contagious diseases. Focusing on the Ebola outbreak of 1995 and the SARS outbreak of 2002-2003, I examine the metaphorical language used to describe the diseases, and interrogate how the media contribute to Lakoff and Johnson’s metaphorical cognitive framework. I explore how ideas about contagious diseases reify Mary Douglas’ understandings of contagion and liminality, and ultimately, demonstrate that the media engender a fear of contagious diseases beyond their medical realities. By associating Ebola and SARS with elements such as war and nature, the media extend the power of the disease and make it imminently threatening. Thus, the media’s use of metaphors manipulates and alters pre-existing ideas about disease to create a new cognitive framework within which we understand infectious diseases.
Infectious diseases, Ebola virus diseases, SARS Virus, AIDS (Disease), HIV infections, China -- Health, Other (Philosophy), Mass media criticism, Communicable diseases -- Contagious diseases, Media -- Interpretation, Public health -- Representation, Africa -- Health, Congo (Democratic Republic) -- Zaire, Whitman College 2012 -- Dissertation collection -- Anthropology Department
Public Accessible Thesis
If you have questions about permitted uses of this content, please contact the ARMINDA administrator
du Bray, Margaret V., "Fear and the coming plague : what American media tell us about infectious disease" (2012). Honors Theses. 4.
In Copyright. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).