Ever since Michel Foucault published Madness and Civilisation in the 1960s, the public representation of madness has fascinated cultural critics. Today within the broad field of media and communication studies, a growing number of scholarly articles examine the mediation of mental distress, as well as several full-length books, including Otto Wahl’s Media Madness (1995), the Glasgow Media Group’s Media and Mental Distress (Philo et al., 1996) and, more recently, Gary Morris’s Mental Health Issues and the Media (2006) and my own Madness, Power and the Media (2009). Many of these writings catalogue and critique common media stereotypes about mental distress. Among other things, they seek to dispel the commonplace associations of madness with violence, stupidity, incompetence or incurability — stereotypes which, as I shall suggest here, persist in contemporary media representations of mental distress as part of the dominant ideological imagining of madness.
|Jump Cut: a Review of Contemporary Media
|Published - 2010