ADHD: ‘Because You’re Worth It’: The Marketisation of ADHD to Adult Women

Prof Doc Thesis

Winter, Helen 2013. ADHD: ‘Because You’re Worth It’: The Marketisation of ADHD to Adult Women. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsWinter, Helen
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Drawing on the traditions of discursive psychology and critical discourse analysis this study examined the marketisation of ‘Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder’ (ADHD) to women in a small sample of online YouTube videos. Of specific interest was the constructed and constructive nature of discourse at a ‘micro’ level, with a particular focus on the reification and commodification of the ‘ADHD-product’; and the discursive strategies used to persuade women of the potential benefits of ‘ADHD’ diagnosis and ‘treatment’. The video material analysed represented a combination of first person testimonies from the ‘sufferer’, and the sharing of ‘expertise’ by ‘professionals’, and comprised of both verbal and visual aspects. The analytic categories generated told a ‘story’ of the construction and commodification of the ‘ADHD-product’, unproblematically positioned within the biomedical discourse; followed by the active promotion of ‘ADHD’ to women, with strong endorsements for the use of stimulant medication to ‘enhance performance’ and ‘increase one’s potential’. Attention was also paid to the possibility that this diagnosis might threaten women’s selfhood and undermine personal authenticity. Implications for research and professional practice are discussed in light of the analysis.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintDec 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Jan 2014
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