Challenging the Dominant Breast Cancer Causation Paradigm through the Lens of Media Discourses

by Jane McArthur (Author)

In this chapter, McArthur considers the role of the media in perpetuating dominant representations of breast cancer, a disease that claims the lives of over half a million women worldwide each year (who 2016). Based on an analysis of Toronto Star newspaper articles, McArthur determines that constructions of breast cancer risk in media discourses centre on lifestyle, genetics and personal responsibility, while occupational and environmental risks and primary prevention are largely omitted. She argues that discourses that emphasize individual choice and modifiable personal behaviours fail to account for the current scientific understandings of breast cancer risks and reflect neoliberal dogmas and policies.

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