Christy Newman

Health Narratives


Dr Christy Newman

University of New South Wales


Christy has a first class Honours degree in communication and cultural studies and a PhD in health media studies. Her doctoral research explored the cultural politics of engaging and representing health magazine audiences through reader letter pages, contrasting popular or commercial health media industries with non-profit publications produced by and for marginalised populations. This inspired an ongoing interest in health narratives, particularly in interview accounts of the provision and uptake of medicine, and media and cultural representations of health, illness and medicine. In the 10 years she has worked at the Centre for Social Research in Health, Christy has led or contributed to competitive research grants worth more than two million dollars as Chief Investigator, and another three as Associate or Team Investigator. She has published over forty academic journal articles and book chapters and was recognised for her postdoctoral research achievements as the 2010 recipient of the Paul Bourke Award for Early Career Research from the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.


Christy holds particular expertise in conducting qualitative social research on the care and treatment of HIV, viral hepatitis and sexual health, but her research has also ranged into associated areas of public health priority, including mental health, Aboriginal health, cancer, young people and health, and gender, sexuality and health. Her primary methodological interests are thematic and discourse analyses of the accounts of service users, service providers, other professionals with an influence on health policy and practice, and health narratives in media, policy and research publications. Her work has been consistently interested in understanding how marginalised and/or hidden populations become engaged with health care, and how the diverse accounts of service users and providers can both reveal and remake dominant discourses on health, illness and medicine.


HIV, qualitative, discourse, media representations, doctor-patient narratives

Key publications

Newman, C.E., Gray, R., Brener, L., Jackson, L.C., Saunders, V., Johnson, P., Harris, M., Butow, P., Treloar, C. (2013) One size fits all? The discursive framing of cultural difference in health professional accounts of providing cancer care to Aboriginal people. Ethnicity and Health, 18(4), 433-447.

Newman, C.E., Persson, A., Paquette, D., Kidd, M.R. (2013) The new cultural politics of the waiting room: Straight men, gay-friendly clinics and ‘inclusive’ HIV care. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 10(2), 87-96.

Newman, C.E., Holt, M., Bryant, J., Kippax, S.C., Paquette, D.M., Canavan, P., Kidd, M.R., Saltman, D.C. (2012) Comparing ‘doctor’ and ‘patient’ beliefs about the role of illicit drug use in gay men’s depression. Health and Social Care in the Community, 20(4), 412-419.

Newman, CE, Mao, L, Canavan, PG, Saltman, DC, Kidd, MR, Kippax, SC (2010) HIV generations? Generational discourse in interviews with Australian general practitioners and their HIV positive gay male patients. Social Science & Medicine, 70(11), 1721-1727.

Newman, C. & Persson, A. (2009) Fear, complacency and the spectacle of risk: The making of HIV as a public concern in Australia. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, 13(1), 7-23.

Newman, C. (2007). Reader letters to women’s health magazines: Inscribing the ‘will to health’. Feminist Media Studies, 7(2), 155-170, June.