A Humanistic Approach to Health Communication

Friday 7 April 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm S226 Seminar Room, Department of Media and Communications John Woolley Building, Level 2 entry off Manning Road

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Since the key to effective health communication lies in its ability to communicate well, some of its core problems are those that relate to the sharing of meaning between communicators. In other words, its key challenge lies in finding ways to disseminate solutions in a manner that allows individuals to co-create the proper route for adoption. This talk offers three key propositions:

  • Health communication has to pass through the filter of a particular world view that creates a discrepancy between expected and actual message reception and response.
  • The assumption of a rational human actor made implicitly by most health psychological models is a contestable issue, as many times message recipients do not follow a cognitive judgment process.
  • Health communication as part of organised government practices adheres to predominant values perspectives that affect the manner in which health issues become problematised.

What seems more fruitful for future health communication then is not “better” campaigns but a deeper inclusion of publics in the storytelling process about health and well-being. Understanding the concept of dialogical interaction and sense making will build connections between communication, representation and social identity. A movement toward humanistic health communication ultimately reaffirms the communicative process as living up to its original definition of sharing meaning (Image: http://www.halklailiskiler.com/).

This event will be broadcast on Twitter via Periscope (go to @MediaAtSydney).

Dr Olaf Werder directs the health communication program in the department and leads a research group on health humanities at the Charles Perkins Centre focusing on identifying barriers and pathways of effective communication in health.