Communication Studies, Department of


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Published in HEALTH COMMUNICATION, 13(4), 409–425 Copyright © 2001, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Used by permission.


Using a Burkean framework (1969), this article approaches medical dramas as cultural texts to be read for dominant meanings of health and health care. Burke’s representative anecdote illuminates the melding of science, technology, and healing in popular discourses of health, establishing technological intervention as the norm and marginalizing nontechnological (i.e., alternative) forms of health care. Popular entertainment reinforces this anecdote in narratives of healing as technological competence triumphing over nature.

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