Title: Frames And Counter-Frames Giving Meaning To Dementia: A Framing Analysis Of Media Content
Authors: Van Gorp, Baldwin ×
Vercruysse, Tom #
Issue Date: 2012
Series Title: Social Science & Medicine vol:74 pages:1274-1281
Abstract: Media tend to reinforce the stigmatization of dementia as one of the most dreaded diseases in western
society, which may have repercussions on the quality of life of those with the illness. The persons with
dementia, but also those around them become imbued with the idea that life comes to an end as soon as
the diagnosis is pronounced. The aim of this paper is to understand the dominant images related to
dementia by means of an inductive framing analysis. The sample is composed of newspaper articles from
six Belgian newspapers (2008e2010) and a convenience sample of popular images of the condition in
movies, documentaries, literature and health care communications. The results demonstrate that the most
dominant frame postulates that a human being is composed of two distinct parts: a material body and an
immaterial mind. If this frame is used, the person with dementia ends up with no identity, which is in
opposition to theWestern ideals of personal self-fulfilment and individualism. For each dominant frame an
alternative counter-frame is defined. It is concluded that the relative absence of counter-frames confirms
the negative image of dementia. The inventory might be a help for caregivers and other professionals who
want to evaluate their communication strategy. It is discussed that a more resolute use of counter-frames
in communication about dementia might mitigate the stigma that surrounds dementia.
ISSN: 0277-9536
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Institute for Media Studies
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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