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October 2021

Telling stories: Breast cancer pathographies in Australian women's magazines

Author(s): Bonner, F.

Journal/Book: Women Stud Int Forum. 1999; 22: the Boulevard Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford Ox5 1GB, England. Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd. 563-571.

Abstract: Women's magazines provide an important source of health information for their readers. This information is published across a variety of texts including personal narratives of illness and disease (pathographies). This study examines a recent set of such stories specifically related to breast cancer and finds that these have particular tabloid characteristics. It compares narratives of various celebrities with those of ordinary women, finding that the latter are more sensationalised. Both types of pathographies over-emphasise certain risk factors, but nevertheless provide a mechanism for women to share the experience of serious illness.

Note: Article McKay S, Univ Queensland, Dept English, Media & Culture Studies Ctr, Brisbane, Qld 4072, AUSTRALIA

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