The vegetative state (VS), whose prevalence is due to advances in medical technologies over the past 40 years, is a clinical condition in which a patient is wakeful without being aware (RCP, 2013). By creating a liminal state between life and death (Kaufman & Morgan, 2005), the VS brings about ontological, medical, and ethical dilemmas that challenge both experts’ and laypeople’s understanding. To address such dilemmas, it is crucial to investigate the different socio-cultural milieus in which representations of boundaries between life/death or health/illness are constructed, maintained and challenged through communication processes (Bauer & Gaskell, 1999; Jovchelovitch & Gervais, 1999). Our research aims to explore the social representations of the VS in the news across different cultural (India, Italy and the United Kingdom) and social milieus (left-leaning, right-leaning and religious/tabloid newspapers). Both qualitative and quantitative content analyses were conducted on articles’ headlines and full-texts taken from Indian (n=300), Italian (n=300) and British (n=300) newspapers published between January 1990 and June 2019. Our results show that the VS is represented through eight frames that vary across both cultural contexts and social milieus. The research allowed us to (a) identify the representational dimensions used to deconstruct and reconstruct the borders between life and death, and (b) shed light on the discourses that may be engaged in the public sphere to disentangle a liminal situation.

Zulato, E., Montali, L., & Bauer, M. (2021). Disentangling a liminal condition: Comparing emerging debates and representations of the vegetative state. In 8th STS Italia Conference: Dis/entangling technoscience: vulnerability, technoscience and justice (17-19 June 2021).

Disentangling a liminal condition: Comparing emerging debates and representations of the vegetative state

Zulato, E
;
Montali, L;
2021

Abstract

The vegetative state (VS), whose prevalence is due to advances in medical technologies over the past 40 years, is a clinical condition in which a patient is wakeful without being aware (RCP, 2013). By creating a liminal state between life and death (Kaufman & Morgan, 2005), the VS brings about ontological, medical, and ethical dilemmas that challenge both experts’ and laypeople’s understanding. To address such dilemmas, it is crucial to investigate the different socio-cultural milieus in which representations of boundaries between life/death or health/illness are constructed, maintained and challenged through communication processes (Bauer & Gaskell, 1999; Jovchelovitch & Gervais, 1999). Our research aims to explore the social representations of the VS in the news across different cultural (India, Italy and the United Kingdom) and social milieus (left-leaning, right-leaning and religious/tabloid newspapers). Both qualitative and quantitative content analyses were conducted on articles’ headlines and full-texts taken from Indian (n=300), Italian (n=300) and British (n=300) newspapers published between January 1990 and June 2019. Our results show that the VS is represented through eight frames that vary across both cultural contexts and social milieus. The research allowed us to (a) identify the representational dimensions used to deconstruct and reconstruct the borders between life and death, and (b) shed light on the discourses that may be engaged in the public sphere to disentangle a liminal situation.
Si
abstract + slide
Scientifica
vegetative state; social representations; media analysis; liminality
English
8th STS Italia Conference: Dis/entangling technoscience: vulnerability, technoscience and justice (17-19 June 2021)
https://www.stsitaliaconf2020.com
Zulato, E., Montali, L., & Bauer, M. (2021). Disentangling a liminal condition: Comparing emerging debates and representations of the vegetative state. In 8th STS Italia Conference: Dis/entangling technoscience: vulnerability, technoscience and justice (17-19 June 2021).
Zulato, E; Montali, L; Bauer, M
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10281/320628
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