The 'moral careers' of microbes and the rise of the matrons: An analysis of UK national press coverage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) 1995-2006

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dc.contributor.author Crawford, Paul
dc.contributor.author Brown, Brian J.
dc.contributor.author Nerlich, Brigitte
dc.contributor.author Koteyko, Nelya
dc.date.accessioned 2009-09-08T13:28:49Z
dc.date.available 2009-09-08T13:28:49Z
dc.date.issued 2008
dc.identifier.citation Crawford, P., Brown, B.J., Nerlich, B. and Koteyko, N. (2008) The 'moral careers' of microbes and the rise of the matrons: An analysis of UK national press coverage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) 1995-2006. Health, Risk and Society, 10 (4), pp. 331-347. en
dc.identifier.issn 1469-8331
dc.identifier.issn 1369-8575
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2086/2459
dc.description.abstract This paper examines similarities and differences in media discourses relating to methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at three important points in the development of the bacterium and its perception by the public over the last decade. We analyse three increasingly large sets of texts from the national media using a variety of complementary qualitative and quantitative methods. As such this paper exploits, develops and empirically assesses an emerging methodological trend in applied linguistics, namely the convergence of critical metaphor analysis, with corpus linguistics and science and technology studies. Using this, the study identifies a shifting media narrative that involves changes in dramatis personae over the decade. First, personified forces of nature, doctors and hospitals are engaged in a battle of evil against good, but also intelligence over stupidity. Second, we are presented with victims of personified bacterial forces and doct! ors and hospitals cast as perpetrators of crimes of omission by not cleaning hands or wards. Third, the malignant forces of politics try to exploit the evil forces of nature for their own ends while a mediator between the doctors and the potential victims of MRSA, emerges and is given political and symbolic power: the modern matron. en
dc.description.sponsorship The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the ESRC (research grant no. RES-000-23-1306) for the project 'Talking cleanliness in health and agriculture' which facilitated the fieldwork. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Routledge en
dc.subject risk en
dc.subject risk communication en
dc.subject risk perception en
dc.subject media en
dc.subject public health en
dc.subject MRSA en
dc.title The 'moral careers' of microbes and the rise of the matrons: An analysis of UK national press coverage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) 1995-2006 en
dc.type Article en
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13698570802167397
dc.researchgroup Participation & Social Justice
dc.researchgroup Psychology
dc.researchgroup Health Policy
dc.researchgroup Mary Seacole Research Centre
dc.researchgroup Health Policy Research Unit


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