Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, Vol 9, No 3 (2012)

Owning responsible actions/selves: Role-relational trajectories in counselling for childhood genetic testing

Srikant Sarangi
Issued Date: 10 Jul 2015


This paper offers a role-relational perspective on responsibility, as a complement to the agency-and-intentionality dimension usually associated with responsible action. A role-relational perspective foregrounds a dynamic notion of role vis-à-vis self-other relations in owning responsible actions/selves. I use the conduct, and by adopting a thematic discourse analytic framework, the findings suggest that parental accounts orient towards the following: balancing of advantages and disadvantages of childhood testing; benefits of knowing for present and future purposes; and the role-relational work counselling context of childhood genetic testing as a way of illustrating the complex role-relational trajectories which underpin parental accounts of moral and causal responsibility. Drawing upon the distinction between ‘excuse’ and ‘justification’ in accounting for underpinning the decision about testing. Although articulation of moral and causal responsibility is nuanced in parental accounts, justifications for actions/decisions mainly take the form of causal responsibility, expressed typically in the ‘if-then’ format.

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DOI: 10.1558/japl.v9i3.25743


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