Loughborough University

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Discursive psychology as a qualitative approach for analysing interaction in medical settings

journal contribution
posted on 2012-02-21, 14:46 authored by Jonathan Potter, Alexa Hepburn
Purpose To introduce some features of the perspective of discursive psychology that may be useful for studying interaction in a range of medical settings. Overview Discursive psychology considers the way psychological words and displays play a practical part in the activities that are performed in particular settings. It offers a way of understanding the role of psychological issues that is distinct from, and is sometimes obscured by, traditional social cognitive approaches. The approach is illustrated by the example of crying on a child protection helpline. The way crying is built from different elements, the way these elements are organised, and the way they are receipted are all highlighted. Crying is both performing and potentially disrupting actions. The virtues of high quality transcription, and of understanding the way crying is situated in the turn organisations of conversation, are demonstrated. Evaluation Discursive psychology involves particular ways of considering reliability and validity. The broader potential for such an approach in medical settings is discussed.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies


POTTER, J. and HEPBURN, A., 2005. Discursive psychology as a qualitative approach for analysing interaction in medical settings. Medical Education, 39 (3), pp. 338 - 344


© Blackwell Publishing Ltd


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Publication date



This article is closed access, it was published in the journal Medical Education [© Blackwell Publishing Ltd]. The definitive version is available at; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2929.2005.02099.x/abstract




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