Pop Culture Discourse

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Pop Culture Discourse of Bipolar Disorder-

The coverage of Amanda Bynes’ bipolar mood swings (taken for this paper from articles published in ‘People’ from 2012-2015) provides a snapshot of the ways in which media impacts language usage surrounding bipolar disorder among the general population.

Three major speech communities surrounding bipolar disorder exist: occupational speakers, diagnosed speakers, and speakers living undiagnosed or with other mental illnesses. These categories are a result of socialization by way of training (at a professional or volunteer capacity), consumption of media, conversation about what it means to be bipolar, or any combination of the three. Each group maintains distinctly unique language usage when discussing life with, and symptoms of bipolar disorder which in turn means distinct conceptualizations of both.

These varieties in register index the type of language one should use when discussing bipolar disorder on an individual basis. They allow for identification of safe spaces in which one can talk openly about …show more content…

The ‘neutral’ register adopted by wristers for ‘People’ provides a much larger consumer base, with the absence of definitive opinions or facts allowing for readers of all mindsets to project any and all previously held beliefs.

The first method ‘People’ employs to ensure broad readability is to eschew the responsibility of providing any background information about bipolar disorder to it’s readers. Three years of articles discussing the updates of Bynes’ condition contained no mention of what bipolar disorder entails, no discussion of what psychiatric holds entail despite frequent mention of them, and not a single interview with a mental health professional. Instead, the tragic picture of a young starlet’s vague descent into eccentricity was

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