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Discourse Studies – Ways and Crossroads

Insights into Cultural, Diachronic and Genre Issues in the Discipline

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Edited By Karolina Bros and Grzegorz Kowalski

The volume brings together papers emerging from the GlobE conference (University of Warsaw). The authors explore major topics in Discourse Studies, offering insights into the field’s theoretical foundations and discussing the results of its empirical applications. The book integrates different lines of research in Discourse Studies as undertaken at academic centres Europe-wide and beyond. In this diversity, the editors identify certain dominant lines of study, including (new) media discourse, political discourse in the age of social/digital media, or professional discourse in globalized workplace contexts. At the same time, the volume shows that Discourse Studies not only investigate emerging language phenomena, but also critically reassess research issues formerly addressed.

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Healthcare communication in transition: A cross-cultural study of migrant patients and doctors (Agnieszka Kiełkiewicz-Janowiak / Magdalena Zabielska)

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Agnieszka Kiełkiewicz-Janowiak & Magdalena Zabielska

Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland

Healthcare communication in transition: A cross-cultural study of migrant patients and doctors

Abstract: Poland’s admission to the EU and, more specifically, the opening of the labour market has triggered a major wave of Polish immigrants into the UK, including a significant migration of Polish medical professionals. The aim of this paper is to explore the communication cultures of Polish and English healthcare encounters on the basis of patients’ and doctors’ accounts elicited through narrative interviews. The accounts were complemented by ethnographic interviews with doctors who have cross-cultural professional experience and by comments from Polish internet forums and blogs on the quality of healthcare in Poland and England. A qualitative analysis of the data uncovers the ways participants discursively construct their identities and position themselves (and others) in relation to health-care but outside the axiomatically asymmetrical doctor – patient interaction and apart from their institutional roles. The status of observer-commentators allows them to reflect on their experience and evaluate it. We also point to the need for professional medical training to be informed by linguistic research, which calls for an interdisciplinary outlook on both sides.

1. Introduction

The discursive turn in social studies has highlighted the significance of language in the construction of social reality. Ever since the beginnings of discourse analysis as an approach to language in relation to social phenomena and speakers’ socio-psychological characteristics, scholars have...

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