University College Ghent, Belgium
WS166: Language Use, Interaction and Representations of Health in Urban Contexts of Immigrant Health Provision
This paper aims to discuss the multiple roles performed by language mediators, as well as the roles performed by physicians and patients in the course of a medical encounter when the physician and the patient do not share the same language. There is evidence in the literature that all discourse participants approach medical encounters with certain values, and expectations which correspond in complex ways with their social, ethnic and/or professional background. The projection of a self/other by patients, doctors and interpreters has an impact on the roles which they perform and which they expect others to perform and this is often noted as either facilitating or hampering communication. Existing research also indicates that identity work plays a decisive role in how the discourse unfolds in triadic medical exchanges (and that it is also constrained by it). The data are drawn from initial conversations and interviews with (certified) professional hospital interpreters and other mediating actors. The analysis will concentrate on projected selves/others in relation to professional ethos, client identities, interactional expectations, power differences & professional authority, and institutional policy.
Session: Workshop (part 1)
Language Use, Interaction and Representations of Health in Urban Contexts of Immigrant Health Provision
Thursday, April 3, 2008, 13:45-15:15