• Conjuring the ‘Insane’: Representations of Mental Illness in Medical and Popular Discourses

    Author(s):
    SATHYARAJ VENKATESAN SWEETHA SAJI
    Editor(s):
    Jyotirmaya Patnaik (see profile)
    Date:
    2019
    Group(s):
    Communication Studies, Cultural Studies, Digital Humanists, Medical Humanities, Television Studies
    Subject(s):
    Mental illness in literature, Mental health, Social medicine, Mass media and war, Communication--Study and teaching
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Media, mental illness, metaphors, stigma, Medical sociology, Media and conflict, Communication studies, Representation
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/svh7-5133
    Abstract:
    Representation, primarily understood as ‘presence’ or ‘appearance’ with an implied visual component, is a critical concept in the cultural milieu. Conceived as images, performances, and imitations, representations propagate through various media: films, television, photographs, advertisements, and other forms of popular culture. As such, representations of mental illness perform a pivotal role in framing perceptions about the mentally ill. These representations influence and shape public perceptions about the illness. This essay aims to analyze how mental illness is perceived, represented, and treated in popular culture and medical discourses. In so doing, the essay lays bare the ideologies and the symbolic codes that undergird these representations and the consequent stigma confronted by the mentally ill. Taking these cues, the essay close reads popular representations of mental illness in movies, newspapers, advertisements, comics, and paintings and the articulation of stereotyped images of the mentally ill in a medical discourse which externalize madness in distorted physiognomic features. In so doing, the essay exposes the negative implications of these representations on the personal and social lives of the mentally ill and negotiates the significance of personal accounts of mental illness experience as a means of reclaiming their identity
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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