Barriers to obesity communication: Power, habitus and hidden assumptions

Ralph Tench, Johanna Fawkes

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Communication on health issues often founders on the avoidance or denial of key messages by intendedrecipients. This paper explores the development and application of a research methodology combining elements ofPierre Bourdieu's work on the unconscious nature of practice with Gerhard Maletzke's psychological model ofcommunication. This combination was designed to elicit deeper responses than those often found in healthcommunication research.This alternative methodological approach was used to evaluate a year-long, city-wide anti-obesity campaignin Sheffield, UK, which targeted key gatekeepers in the message chain; their responses generate useful insights intoresistance to uncomfortable communication. The paper concludes with suggestions for addressing communicationabout obesity and potentially other uncomfortable health and social topics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Communication and Health
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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