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The Sociological Concepts of Health Issues in Media - Essay Example

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The Sociological Concepts of Health Issues in Media

(Keen, 1999). For this particular essay, a newspaper article regarding mental health issues on toddlers was used to analyse social concepts that are present in the medium. On the news headline entitled “Tantrum or Mental Illness?” published at The Sun-Herald on June 10, 2012, the new federal government program of screening three-year old children for early signs of mental illness called the Healthy Kids Check was discussed. The behaviours to be observed as signs of mental or psychological problems include sleeping only when the lights are on, temper tantrums or extreme shyness. Although the program will be able to help a large number of the children population, many are hesitant for possible misdiagnosis and mislabelling. Most parents, as well as experts working on children, are afraid that the kids will be subjected to medications even if they do not need it, for the sake of the success of the clinical trials. To counter these reluctances of the public, the article quoted Professor Frank Oberklaid of the centre for community child health at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital saying, “Many parents and preschool teachers face behaviours in children that are challenging and cause stress and distress. We also know that thankfully many of these are transient but we can’t predict in a particular child which ones are going to disappear and which ones are going to go on and cause mental health problems. What we’re really doing is having a more systematic way of finding out those kids who are causing difficulties and doing something about it.” (Stark, 2012, p. 4). Aside from testing the children of psychological illness, the program is also going to evaluate other developmental problems like hearing, eyesight and allergies. Oberklaid is optimistic about the results of the program and has already laid out a checklist of potentially troubling behaviours exhibiting anxieties and emotional disorders of toddlers. In the accompanying article, “How a Shy Boy is Learning to Conquer his Anxiety” (Browne, 2012), Deborah Smith, a mother of a four-year old boy showing extreme shyness and anxiety towards adults was interviewed regarding her thoughts on the Healthy Kids Check program of the government. Smith agrees with the purpose of the program, stressing that the psychological assessment will definitely help troubled kids to cope with their issues when done at an early stage. Associate Professor Jennifer Hudson supported the program stating, “Anxiety in the preschool years is most likely to predict anxiety in adolescence and adulthood.” (Brown, 2012, p. 4). Hudson noted that mental health issues can be prevented from developing further when treated while the person is still young. Meanings of stories published or shown by means of the media can be conveyed using language, headlines and images. Society is mainly impacted with what they remark through the available media. According to Bryant and Oliver (2009), the computer the television, the internet and the radio are not only equipment that convey information, but are representations that can be utilized to conceptualize reality. Presently, information is readily available from numerous forms of media, making it accessible to a larger audience. While technology is shaping the revolution of information dissemination, the content as the basic elements of communication remains the same. In the ...Show more
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Summary

The Sociological Concepts of Health Issues in Media Media, in the forms of newspaper articles, movies or radio programs, among others, can strongly influence the views and opinion of the public. The capacity of an innocent newspaper headline or a television sitcom to convey deeper messages to its readers or viewers is based on an idea that the author has purposely embedded in the medium…
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