In this volume, medical communication is analyzed from various viewpoints: not only from a merely linguistic angle, with a focus on the description of the genres used in medical and healthcare contexts, but also from a social and cultural standpoint, with an emphasis both on the doctor-patient relationship and on the social relevance of the other types of communicative links existing between the many communities involved in this type of interaction.
The study of some of the main fields typical of medical communication has highlighted a considerable variety of themes, data and research methods which are clearly representative of the eclectic interest in this specific domain and of the wide range of approaches developed for its investigation.
As the various chapters show, linguistic analysis proves to be highly applicable to textualizations involving multiple interactions and practices, and several kinds of participants, including different healthcare professionals, trainees and patients.
Experts on Experts: Sustaining ‘Communities of Interest’ in Professional Discourse Studies (Srikant Sarangi)
Srikant Sarangi Experts on Experts: Sustaining ‘Communities of Interest’ in Professional Discourse Studies 1. Introduction Building upon and expanding on a number of earlier publications (Sa rangi 1998, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2010; Sarangi/Candlin 2011, Saran gi et al. 2003), this chapter is primarily a practising discourse analyst’s re- flections on ‘interpretive repertoires’ surrounding interprofessional col- laborative research, with particular reference to the domain of health- care. In a classic study of scientists’ discourse, Gilbert and Mulkay (1984) draw attention to scientists’ use of two distinct ‘interpretive repertoires’: while the ‘empiricist repertoire’ exemplifies impersonal accounts of scientific discovery and the rules and pro ce dures governing the production of factual knowledge, the ‘contingent repertoire’ appeals to personal motives, biases and intuitions. It is the simultaneity of these two repertoires that gives rise to ‘interpretive variability’. This distinc- tion between empiricist and contingent reper toires easily maps onto the objective-subjective dialectics and also applies to discourse analysts’ accounts of data-based findings. The situa tion becomes complex when a discourse analyst’s account is subjected to further interpretation by professional practitioners on a collaborative footing. For many of us, collaborating and partnershipping across disci- pli nary and professional boundaries is assumed not only to be desi rable and value-added, but also as being a smooth operation without visible challenges. Indeed one’s experience of collaboration can be productive, but at times one is confronted with interpretive dilemmas. My own col- laboration with professional practitioners in the field of genetics and genetic counselling over the past...
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