The Commodification of Disease Essay

548 Words3 Pages
The commodification of disease is a rapidly growing trend internationally. Most notably, this is prominent in every type of cancer to various degrees. Consumers buy into marketing tactics and get a sense of gratification when they purchase items branded with a cancer ribbon or other known symbol.
Through the perspective and lens of the Uses and Gratifications theory, you can see the different reasons as to what drives consumers to purchase these products and engage in a type of cancer culture within our society. Uses and Gratifications theory has been used to discover why consumers use different forms of media in order to feel a sense of fulfillment within themselves. Through an array of media, this theory has been proven to be effective
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An example of this would be in Japan, where it has been suggested that the media is used to sustain a certain view of their society and behaviors (Rubin 1993).
Other notes: Another approach to a study on uses and gratifications could be working backwards from pleasures and gratifications to needs (Katz, Blumler and Gurevitch 1973). Whichever way you proceed with a study, you need to systemize categories of the needs and wants of people to gauge the gratification from a particular type of media (Katz, Blumler and Gurevitch 1973).
How it has been used in a past study: To further show the parallel of how Uses and Gratifications theory can be applied to participating in cancer culture, the first step is to see how it has worked within another study. Darrin Brown, Sharon Lauricella, Aziz Douai and Arshia Zaidi conducted a study on why media consumers are drawn to crime drama television shows, through a Uses and Gratifications approach. They’re method of research was a survey that yielded 130 responses, and out of those 88 were applicable to their research; they also included 4 open ended questions within their survey. Through variables of sex, age and other qualities, they were able to see exactly who reached more gratification watching these television shows. Men had more gratification than women, the older you were the more you enjoyed them, and the more hours you viewed these dramas, the less enjoyable they were (Brown, Lauricella, Douai, Zaidi
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