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Title: The efficacy of a mass media population control campaign in Jamaica's national development
Author: Scott, Penelope Anne
ISNI:       0000 0001 3389 2568
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 1992
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In 1983 the Jamaican Parliament officially endorsed a National Population Policy which made the island the first in the Caribbean region to formulate such a policy. The Population Policy defined Jamaica's accelerating population as a negative constraint on the country's national development. One of the aims therefore, of the Policy was the introduction of replacement fertility i.e. a two child family. This was stipulated as a prerequisite to limit Jamaica's population growth. In an effort to disseminate the message of the two child family three mass media campaigns were conducted in the nineteen eighties. This thesis examines the efficacy of this replacement fertility campaign strategy in Jamaica's national development. The campaign's efficacy will be examined on the basis of its conceptualisation and implementation. This thesis constructs the argument that firstly, the conceptualisation of the media campaign was based on academically discredited views and assumptions on the role of the media in development. This position is substantiated in two ways. Firstly, through a semiotic analysis of the advertising campaign which revealed the implicit level of expectations concerning the campaign as well as the media's role in development. Secondly, through interviews with campaign planners and policy makers which disclosed the explicit expectations regarding the media and the campaign's function in development. It is argued that the ideological nature of the campaign's mythic structure, deciphered through the semiotic analysis, implies a role for the media in development which is consistent with the views of communication scholars who were advocates of the currently discredited Modernisation based model of communication in national development. An analysis of interviews with the campaign planners and policymakers demonstrates that their expressed views on the role of the media in development are identifiable with assumptions on this role inherent in the Modernisation paradigm. The thesis argues secondly, that the misinformed criteria and expectations directing the campaign are further reinforced by several features of the campaign design and implementation. It is shown that certain principles and practices of campaign design such as audience research, pretesting and interpersonal communication, which are academically proven ingredients of successful campaigns, were neglected in the campaign's construction. This calls into question the integrity of the campaign as a mechanism of social intervention. Further challenges to the campaign's efficacy are raised by findings from a social survey among the target group. This survey sought to assess the audience's view on the two child family; patterns of mass media use; sources of information on family planning; the credibility of these sources compared with the credibility of the media; contraceptive use and information needs on contraception.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Demography & population studies