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Title: Studying 'psychosis' in medical knowledge, popular film, and audience identities : a discourse analysis of the naming of clinical psychosis, its filmic representations, and the interpretations of those who have experienced it
Author: Bisson, Susan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 9034
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores the ways in which those who have experienced psychosis engage with and respond to film texts which feature psychosis; it draws upon screen theory and cultural theory to combine analysis of film content with reception analysis. Adopting a Foucauldian critical discourse analysis approach, (Jäger and Maier 2009) I employ textual analysis to examine the construction of psychosis in three key areas. Firstly, the naming of clinical psychosis is explored through an examination of policy documents. Secondly, a broad range of texts from the inception of film to the present day are analysed to investigate film images and narratives of both named and inferred ‘psychosis’. Ethical guidelines were observed in recruiting and carrying out twentyfour semi-structured interviews with respondents who have experienced psychosis (Koivisto et al 2001, Davies 2005, Horsfall et al 2007, Keogh & Daly 2009). The transcripts of these interviews provide the basis for my third area of discourse analysis; they are explored to determine respondents’ attitudes towards psychosis and films that feature it. In this study I argue that different hierarchies of discourse and procedures of power operate in the three distinct areas through mechanisms of nomination and exclusion (Fairclough 2009). Audience analysis reveals that respondents use film texts in order to make sense of and associatively re-create their experiences of psychosis. Making an original contribution to the field, I have identified the ways in which respondents appropriate specific texts as ‘evocative’ readings. Here, films which do not denotatively feature images/narratives of psychosis are read as highly relevant to respondents’ experiences of psychosis. My thesis makes a valuable contribution to audience studies by bringing together three areas of study in a way that has not been done before. It explores the interaction between audience and text and gives voice to a respondent cohort which has historically been marginalised. The concept of ‘evocative’ reading also enables me to challenge prior emphases on the ‘accurate’ representation of psychosis in popular film (Ritterfeld & Jin 2006, Pirkis et al 2006).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN1993 Motion Pictures