Informatization–Dramatization: Communicating Health in East Asian Television Dramas

Liew Kai Khiun


This article samples several television serials from Hong Kong and Japan to examine trends in East Asian television dramas’ portrayal of discourses on health, illness, and disability. Such portrayals are a response to an increasingly literate publics’ demands for less explicitly instructional health narratives and for dramatic demonstration of knowledge through para-performances in television serials. Accompanying these health messages are exhibitions of positive psycho-behavioral mechanisms for coping with disability or disease that typify the ideal sociocultural traits of the individual. East Asian dramas have defined many trends of modern living for transnational and regional viewers, and the health discourses in these productions are similarly likely to significantly shape notions of modernity and urbanity in regional contexts. Using an “informatization–dramatization” analytical framework, this article seeks to conceptualize the narrative structures behind the presentation of these health-related messages.

Full Text: