Show Summary Details
Page of

Denotation and Connotation 

Denotation and Connotation
Chapter:
Denotation and Connotation
Author(s):

Sylvia A. Pamboukian

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190918514.003.0002
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 28 March 2020

Research using denotation and connotation explores how words convey meaning to various audiences and illuminates phenomena such as patient resistance, structural barriers to healthcare, and the evolution of specific medical practices. Words such as cancer, natural, narcotic, botanical, palliative, consent, and many others, are ripe for such analysis because each has many denotations (definitions) and connotations (cultural associations). For example, the word digitalis may connote a pretty foxglove flower, a heart drug, or a poison. What might this mean for patients prescribed digitalis? For those who see foxglove as a safer alternative? Denotation and connotation explore how concepts in healthcare emerge, propagate, evolve, or decline within specific communities, at particular historical moments, or across eras and cultures. This chapter offers a theoretical background in literary analysis regarding denotation and connotation and describes how such analyses offer fruitful avenues for research in health humanities.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.