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Public Lecture with Lori Dorfman
Public Lecture with Lori Dorfman
WhenThursday, Oct 25, 2018, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Campus locationKane Hall (KNE)
Campus room120
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsThe Graduate School
Description

How Typical News Narratives Undermine the Public’s Health

Research shows that in the U.S. most people think that individuals are masters of their own destiny. People believe that hard work, discipline, and self-determination will outweigh other factors such as the conditions in which they live. These values extend to people’s perceptions about health as well: their gut-level assumption—the default frame—is that individuals can control their own health outcomes if they make the right choices.

The problem with the default frame is that it hides the influence of the places where people live, work, learn, and play. Hard work and determination matter, but so do conditions and circumstances. To understand health, especially at the population level, the conditions surrounding individuals need to be part of the story.

The default frame is like a portrait, focused narrowly on the details of a single person or event. Typical news stories revel in that sort of storytelling, as do many of the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. But to correctly depict health issues, news coverage must also use frames that are more like landscapes—frames that include people, but also the context that surrounds them including the conditions that make life expectancy in some zip codes much higher than others.

Dr. Dorfman will show how public health struggles with, and sometimes wins, this framing battle across different public health issues, from tobacco to soda to violence.

CLICK HERE to register.

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