The Power of Narratives: A New Understanding of Antibiotic Resistance

Slavica Kodish


Antibiotic resistance continues unabated despite many efforts to increase awareness and promote responsible use of antibiotics. The limited results of various campaigns and community education initiatives to alleviate antibiotic resistance are concerning. The world faces a future with diminishing power of antibiotics and a possible postantibiotic era with serious consequences for health and humanity. Typically, antibiotic resistance is viewed as a public health problem, and communication principles and theories serve a practical role in creating and disseminating messages. In the exploratory endeavor described in this article, the starting premise is that communication may be a part of the problem. This article provides a new understanding of antibiotic resistance and creates a basis for organizing future efforts to promote prudent use of antibiotics in a more effective manner.


antibiotic resistance, communication theory, lists and stories, narratives, narrative reasoning

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