Communication & Medicine, Vol 8, No 2 (2011)

‘Whereof one cannot speak thereof one must be silent’: Medical discourse and medical practice

Per Måseide
Issued Date: 19 Jun 2012


Significant parts of medical work are conducted as talk. In studies of medical work researchers have focused on the discursive production or mediation of medical facts. Several studies have highlighted the role of talk in many kinds of medical practice. While talk and discourse may generate medical problems and contribute essentially to medical problem solving, much of this talk is referential. It may also be used as representations in medical problem solving. In many kinds of medical practice talk deals with how to relate to clinical data, references or representations, it deals with talk itself and it deals with relations between those participating in medical work. The purpose of this paper is to show that diversity in medical discourse is grounded, not so much in the diversity of available language games but in the diversity of medical work and medical objects. Data for the article come from observations of medical team meetings in the thoracic ward of a Norwegian hospital.

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DOI: 10.1558/cam.v8i2.181


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