Television and drug abuse : a cultural studies approach to Thai health communication research

Young, P 2009, Television and drug abuse : a cultural studies approach to Thai health communication research, Masters by Research, Applied Communication, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Television and drug abuse : a cultural studies approach to Thai health communication research
Author(s) Young, P
Year 2009
Abstract The main objective of this thesis is to illustrate the benefits of using a cultural studies approach in the field of health communication research in Thailand. In this thesis I apply a cultural studies approach to examine the construction of meanings involving drug use and abuse in Thai television advertisements and dramas. The thesis has as its focus analyses of television texts and audience responses.

The major arguments advanced in this thesis are that: (a) the causes of drug use and abuse are complex; (b) drug use and abuse, particularly given the 'risk culture' and 'risk society' of the post-modern world, are products of individual social and cultural contexts; (c) cultural studies assist us to better understand the cultural dimension of human behaviour, including the causes of drug use and abuse; and so (d) by adopting a cultural studies approach to the design and production of health promotion campaigns, such campaigns may be made more effective.

The thesis argues that in designing health promotion campaigns, health professionals should be concerned to better understand the complexity of their audiences and the manner in which members of those audiences construct meanings and make sense of texts. Should they do so, the designers of health promotion campaigns may, thereby, develop a more sophisticated understanding of what is necessary to contribute to changing audience behaviour. This, in turn, may assist them to improve the design and effectiveness of future health promotion campaigns.

The principal tool drawn from cultural studies used in this thesis is textual analysis. This research method involves making an educated guess at some of the most likely interpretations that might be made of a text. In addition, it demonstrates the complexity of the process of making media texts. The texts analysed in this study are selected from two genres of television: television advertisements and television dramas. I analyse television advertisements used in health promotion / drug prevention campaigns broadcast in Thailand in the period from 1990 to 2004 and two well known Thai television dramas entitled Kam See Than Don: KSTD (1999) and Num Poo: NP (2002).
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Applied Communication
Keyword(s) Drug abuse -- Australia
Television -- Australia
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