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Understanding mental distress in film and media: a new agenda?

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This paper surveys some recent developments in media criticism and recent developments in film and media representations of mental distress. Focusing on a representations drawn from various forms of media, the paper argues that media and film images of mental distress are in many cases `positive' and sympathetic, although they can also contain sexist, racist and other problematic elements that are not commonly identified by anti-stigma campaigners. It also suggests that while still valid in many ways, existing anti-stigma criticism tends to focus on a rather undifferentiated notion of `violence to others' as the sole criterion against which media images are judged. Finally, the paper proposes that critics and campaigners pay closer attention to how the particular form or genre of any media text influences its treatment of psychological distress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-174
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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