Sporting cancer: struggle language in news reports of people with cancer
Author: Seale, Clive
Source: Sociology of Health & Illness, Volume 23, Number 3, May 2001 , pp. 308-329(22)
Abstract:The predominance of sporting language in news accounts of cancer experiences is reported in a study of the Anglophone press worldwide. News stories commonly feature sports celebrities with cancer, as well as sporting activities by ordinary people with cancer, designed to generate a sense of (usually successful) personal struggle. The findings extend the view of Sontag and subsequent media analysts, that the language of cancer is dominated by purely military connotations. The view that such `struggle' language is harmful to the interests of people with cancer is not yet supported by careful studies of the reception of media messages. While the language of official sport reflects traditional forms of gender bias, reports of breast cancer activism also involve the language of heroic struggle in a sporting context. This is very evident in these articles since they appeared in the first week of breast cancer awareness month, October 1999.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2001-05-01