Health care communication: a problematic site for applied linguistics research

Christopher N. Candlin, Sally Candlin

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    In this chapter, we address, selectively, how applied linguists and those concerned with discourse analysis in particular, have recently approached the study of health care communication, especially in intercultural contexts, and relate these approaches to studies undertaken by researchers in other academic disciplines such as the sociology of medicine and by health care practitioners in the course of their own work. At issue will be questions concerning selected sites and themes, the degree of distinctiveness of research methodologies and different understandings of what counts as data, and questions concerning reflexivity and practical relevance in terms of the use to which findings can be put. Appreciating areas of difference and similarity is a necessary basis for establishing the desirable, but potentially problematic, partnerships among academic disciplines and between such disciplines and the work of professional practitioners, both in research and in professional development. As a sample site in the delivery of health care in the framework of cultural and linguistic diversity, we identify nursing, and use this site and its practices to advocate the collaboration of applied linguists, professional practitioners, and researchers from other areas of social science in the exploration of health care communication in multilingual/multicultural contexts and elsewhere.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)134-154
    Number of pages21
    JournalAnnual Review of Applied Linguistics
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright 2003 Cambridge University Press. Reprinted from Annual Review of Applied Linguistics.


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