Asymmetrical Relationship Construction in Medical Interactions - A Case Study of Advice-giving in Mandarin Chinese
Social interactions are fundamental components of social life, and we as social members witness and participate in a myriad of social actions and activities. It is in and through these interactions that cultures are established, identities are constructed and relationships are created, maintained or changed. Conversation analysis (CA), as an emergent discipline and research method, is committed to pin down the refined details in social interaction, in the hope to develop systematic knowledge and analysis of what participants in social interactions do and what they achieve. Doctor-patient interaction has long been a much explored topic in CA, but there is still much to be probed into, as talks in the medical context can be a complicated process dependent on many contingencies arising right from that context. This paper adopts conversation analysis as its research method and takes advice-giving in doctor-patient talks as its focus. It is argued that despite the apparently fixed layman-professional relationship in clinical contexts, the professional and lay people relationship is continually created, maintained and adjusted. In medical contexts, a professional’s advice is given with displays of higher epistemic authority, but it may meet with resistances as a result of contingencies in the diagnosis or treatment process. To manage those resistances, a doctor can resort to different practices, including embedding the advice into stories or fusing the advice-giving action into information delivery, and so on. This study aims to contribute to the understanding of dynamic relationship construction and advice-giving practices in medical encounters.
Asymmetrical Relationship Construction in Medical Interactions - A Case Study of Advice-giving in Mandarin Chinese, Communication and Linguistics Studies.
Vol. 6, No. 1,
2020, pp. 10-15.
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