REPRESENTATION OF MENTAL ILLNESS IN MOVIES: A NIGERIAN PERSPECTIVE
By focusing on the analysis of emergent themes and narratives in movies in order to explore the extent to which media, particularly fictional narratives, convey mental health issues in Nigeria, a unique coding scheme was developed for content analysis of ten movies. Using a frequency distribution system, themes produced in the movies chosen (of media representations of mental illness) showed that alternative modes of causal explanation for the problem predominated over psychiatric modes, confirming existing studies. Central to this study is the identification and analysis of the causes, treatment and stigma attached to mental illness in movies produced in Nigeria. This study concludes that movies represent modern psychiatry only poorly; and that perceptions of violence portrayed in ‘Western’ media appear different from representations of violence in Nigerian media.
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