Stay well this Winter: Continued….
As explained in the last blog post, the campaign, called Stay Well This Winter, runs until the end of winter and start of Autumn with continual updates and efforts to draw attention to online and offline information that PHE supplies. A recent example is of a local NHS Trust choid, the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS choir, performing a well known pop song called “baby it’s cold outside”
Alt link: https://youtu.be/SXMBHZZBUB4
Examples of different health organisations tweeting and taking part in awareness of the NHS campaign:
Introduction to Power
An interesting lecture, recently given on my MA in media, campaigning and social change, introduced the idea of power in context of campaigning. At first glance it seems like a simple idea that campaigning could essentially be that a group of people want something changed so, therefore, campaign and seek to change the opinion of another group of people.
Indeed, this rough definiition is similar to the basic definition by Castells (2007: 239) which is that campaigning is one social actor imposing its will(s) over another social actor. So, in the case of Stay well this Winter, the UK government or PHE are imposing their will over the public.
However, there are many different theories of power, here we consider three early theories of power and how they may or may not be application to this campaign.
1) The One Dimensional View – this theory, outlined by Robert Dahl (1961), is that a focus is placed on behaviour, decision making and issues of conflict. For example, in terms of behaviour, Public Health England would assume the following:
This view is very, obviously one dimensional as it doesn’t take in to account what the public want, any other types of power such as hidden power – perhaps the public receive information from other sources such as other NGOs and healthcare organisations. Perhaps the public are too time-poor to care about their flu jab.
2) The two-dimensional view – outlined by Lukes (2005:27) and adapted from the one-dimensional view. This view takes in to account both the visible issues and hidden issues – such as those outlined above. In this example PHE would perhaps think the following:
3) the three-dimensional view – as outlined by Lukas (2005:25), looks at other aspects and builds upon the two-dimensional view of power. It encompasses visible, hidden and invisible issues, Hidden issues in this case being personal interests. The most poignant in the example of flub jabs is the fear, totally subjective of course, that the flu jab will give the personl full flu and infect them! A very important view that is almost as popular as the fear of the jab hurting too much or being totally pointless. The campaign would therefore add the following on to the PHE thought process (in bold):
Even with a campaign as straight forward as Stay well this Winter, which is essentially a set of offline and online materials designed to disemminate best practice for health practioners and for the general public to take action against flu, is complex when analysed in terms of power.
It would be very interesting to look at more contemporary and alternative views of power which we take a look at in part three of this three-part blog.
Castells, M. (2007) Mobile communication and society a global perspective: A project of the Annenberg research network on international communication. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
*This blog has been written as part of my Media, Campaigning and Social Change MA (Part time) at the University of Westminster, for more information about this course please view: http://www.westminster.ac.uk/MACampaigning.