Analysing private hospital websites from a critical perspective: potential issues of methodology, analysis and interpretation of findings

Jonathan Rante Carreon, Richard Watson Todd

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

    Abstract

    Private hospitals are potentially torn between two conflicting purposes of providing medical care and profit making (e.g. Relman, 2008; Thompson, 1993), and this has implications for the way they communicate their goals. Due to social constraints, they are unlikely to openly express that their main goal is profit making. Conversely, pressure from shareholders may force them to openly and heavily advertise services they offer to attract potential patients. These competing agendas suggest the use of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to uncover opaque and transparent uses of language (Fairclough, 1985; Van Dijk, 2003; Wodak, 2001). However, traditional CDA has come under criticism for allowing analysts to find whatever they want to find (e.g. Widdowson, 1995). Moreover, there is also a tendency to favour the use of certain methods (e.g. metaphor analysis) that conveniently allow the analysts to assign specific critical interpretations within a given text leading to the potential for overinterpretation (O’Halloran, 2007). These criticisms highlight an aspect of CDA that deserves investigation. Thus, this paper presents an approach to conducting a CDA of private hospital websites which addresses these criticisms by reducing the impact of preconceived beliefs on interpretations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference
    Subtitle of host publicationDoing Research in Applied Linguistics
    Place of PublicationBangkok, Thailand
    PublisherKing Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi and Macquarie University
    Pages26-36
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventDoing Research in Applied Linguistics - Bangkok, Thailand
    Duration: 21 Apr 201122 Apr 2011

    Conference

    ConferenceDoing Research in Applied Linguistics
    CityBangkok, Thailand
    Period21/04/1122/04/11

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