Club der roten Bänder [Red Band Society] – Addressing the Topic of Cancer in a Fictional Entertainment Format
How the sensitive topic cancer was addressed in the entertainment television series “Club der roten Bänder” [Red Band Society]” is the focus of this project.
Young cancer patients and their needs find little consideration in both medical areas and media representation. Being in the age between child and adult, young cancer patients are often treated as children. However, adolescence can be seen as a meaningful phase, in which young people are coping with age-specific development such as dealing with physical changes or developing social relationship networks. This alone requires strength and perseverance but with a life-changing disease like cancer combined with long stays in hospitals, it becomes highly sensitive issue.
The VOX series “Club der roten Bänder [Red Band Society]”, based on the novel “El mundo amarillo [The Yellow World]” by Albert Espinosa, is the first fictional television programme focusing on the perspective of young cancer patients. Against this backdrop, taking up age-specific development issues in the mass medium television seems like an opportunity to sensitise different groups, e.g. (healthy) peers, relatives, medical staff, for the needs of young cancer patients. To what extent and how these for their development relevant issues have been addressed is analysed in a qualitative content analysis of the first season.
The depiction of young cancer patients in the first season of the VOX series “Club der roten Bänder [Red Band Society]”, aired in November/December 2015 and rerun in October/November 2016, was analysed with a sequence analytic approach. The exploration focuses on the following key questions which will be captured by theoretically generated categories:
How are different aspects of cancer of young patients depicted in the series?
How do people deal with cancer in this series?
How is the confrontation with age-specific development issues of young cancer patients depicted?
Research programme: RP3 - Knowledge for the Media Society