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Popular narratives of a good life. Interrelationships between medicine and temporality on German television

The subproject analyses the (mass) media representation and negotiation of temporal conceptions of the good life in the context of medicine from the perspective of a modern German literature and media studies oriented towards television studies. How are changing conceptions of time considering current medical developments and individual reorientations in relation to a successful life perceived and televisualized by German linear television and non-linear streaming services? The aforementioned mass media offer themselves as objects of interest for the analysis of temporal orientation patterns, because the question of the conditions and (ethical) justifications of a good life is a central, explicit and implicit component of all their formats. Above all, however, they are ascribed the function of conveying a "Medienmedizin"  ("media medicine") (Wulff 2001, 247, 258) in moral-discursive terms. In addition, they document and archive the changed handling of one's own lifetime, which is newly questioned by diseases, experiences of aging or by medical developments; they contribute both to the interdiscursive popularization of knowledge and to the normalization of conceptions of life and society, whereby they make 'popularity' and 'normality' simultaneously observable as effects of media processes; and sometimes, due to their immersive potential, they have relieving therapeutic functions, but can also be disorientating. It is precisely in the case study narratives of such media medicine (narrativization) that the interrelation between medical and social change not only becomes particularly clear; rather, it is also negotiated and culturally effective there because of the mass addressing of broad sections of the population. The relationship between medicine and life time addressed in the leading thesis of the research unit will thus be discussed and differentiated, if necessary even corrected, with regard to its public perception on German television. Aligned with the guiding concept of time sovereignty, the subproject analyses all three application scenarios relevant to the research unit by asking how they are represented as a form of popular medicine (ethics). It is therefore in close exchange with SP 4 (sociology/social psychology) and SP 5 (ethics of reproductive medicine) as well as with SP 6 (general practice) and SP 7 (ethics of geriatric medicine). By focusing on (disease) narratives, the subproject is directly linked to SP 3 (psychocardiology). In a fundamental, theoretically founded respect – i.e. with regard to questions of temporality and the good life – it is dependent on a continuous cooperation with SP 1 (philosophy).


Senior Researcher: Prof. Dr. Claudia Stockinger
  Dr. Christian Hißnauer
Student Assistant: Isabella Rick