Pandemics, Publics, and Narrative

ISBN : 9780190683764

Mark Davis; Davina Lohm
228 ページ
156 x 235 mm
  • Provides rare documentation of lived experience of general publics affected by the 2009 swine flu pandemic
  • Establishes an interdisciplinary narrative approach to health communications and public health
  • Includes rigorous qualitative interviews with participants both in Scotland and Australia

Research suggests that future influenza pandemics are inevitable as strains of the virus mutate in new ways. With this uncomfortable reality in mind, this book examines how the general public experienced the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus outbreak by bringing together stories about individuals' perception of their illness, as well as reflections on news, vaccination, social isolation, and other infection control measures. The book also charts the story-telling of public life, including the 'be alert, not alarmed' messages from the beginning of the outbreak through to the narratives that emerged later when the virus turned out to be less serious than initially thought.
Providing unprecedented insight into the lives of ordinary people faced with the specter of a potentially lethal virus and drawing on currents in sociocultural scholarship of narrative, illness narrative, and narrative medicine, Pandemics, Publics, and Narrative develops a novel 'public health narrative' approach of interest to health communicators and researchers across the social and health sciences.



Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Pandemic tales
Chapter 3. 'Be Alert, Not Alarmed'
Chapter 4. Contagion
Chapter 5. Immunity
Chapter 6. Vulnerabilities
Chapter 7. News Media Hype?
Chapter 8. 'The boy who cried wolf' and other post-trust stories
Chapter 9. Conclusion

Appendix: Participants Who Appear in the Text


Mark Davis is Associate Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University. He has published and co-edited books on the socio-cultural aspects of epidemics, including Sex, Technology and Public Health (Palgrave), HIV Treatment and Prevention Technologies in International Perspective (Palgrave), and Disclosure in Health and Illness (Routledge).
Davina Lohm is a researcher, working on Australian Research Council Discovery Projects on pandemic influenza and antimicrobial resistance. Her focus is on how people understand and manage their personal health circumstances, taking into consideration global, national, and local health events and policy frameworks, as well as their personal life circumstances and biographies. She has published widely in leading health journals including, Body & Society, Health, Risk & Society, Sociological Inquiry, Journal of Health Psychology, and Health.