Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The role of organisational discourse in the geneticisation of medicine:
Author: Hemmings, Diane
ISNI:       0000 0001 3552 5024
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2006
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Organizational websites not only provide information but also have the potential to influence societal beliefs and values on contested issues. This study addresses how the rhetoric of two informational websites concerned with genetic testing for breast cancer contributes to the hegemony of geneticisation in medicine. The two sites analysed are CancerBACUP's Genetics from the United Kingdom and Cancer Facts. Genetic Testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2: It's Your Choice, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute in the United States, McGee's (1980) theory of ideographic analysis was chosen as the analytic framework for the study. Ideographs are ordinary language terms that function as the basic structural elements of an ideology. They are crafted in use according the goals and needs of the author and their meanings can be altered in concert with changing conditions within a society. An examination of ideographs offers insight into how organisations use language to encourage public adherence to the values and beliefs that benefit the organisation. Three ideographs commonly used in traditional medical communication, CHOICE, RESPONSIBILITY and PRIVACY, were identified in both websites. The analysis shows that CancerBACUP and the NCI alter the common understandings of these terms to normalize the changes brought about by genetics. CHOICE is reconfigured to limit expectations of genetic testing for breast cancer. The understanding of RESPONSIBILITY in health care is expanded to assume concern for the health of family and future generations and PRIVACY is no longer an individual matter but is seen in terms of the privacy of family. Reconstituting the traditional meanings of these ideographs to accommodate the needs of genetics in medicine allows the organizations to support the current hegemonic paradigm, thus appealing to influential stakeholders, while promoting the geneticisation of medicine in the public sphere
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available