1st Edition

Language, Health and Culture Problematizing the Centers and Peripheries of Healthcare Communication Research

Edited By Olga Zayts-Spence, Susan M. Bridges Copyright 2023
    212 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Language, Health and Culture brings together contributions by linguistic scholars working in the area of health communication in Asia—in particular, in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore, Japan and Taiwan.

    Olga Zayts-Spence and Susan M. Bridges, along with the contributors, draw on a diverse range of authentic data from different (primary, secondary, digital) healthcare contexts across Asia. The contributions probe empirical analyses and meta-reflections on the empirical, epistemological and theoretical foundations of doing research on language and health communication in Asia. While many of the medical and technological advances originate from the ‘non-English-dominant’/‘peripheral’ contexts, when it comes to health communication, there is a strong tendency to downplay and marginalize the scope and the impact of the ripe research tradition in these contexts. The contributions to the edited volume problematize the hegemony of dominant (Anglocentric) traditions in health communication research by highlighting culture- and context-specific ways of interpreting different health realities through linguistic lenses.

    List of figures List of contributors Acknowledgements List of abbreviations  Chapter 1 Introduction Olga Zayts-Spence Chapter 2 Resisting responsibility for decision-making during medical consultation: a conversation analytic study in Singapore Ni-Eng Lim, Gim-Thia Ng and Kang Kwong Luke Chapter 3 How to make an unacceptable choice for a patient acceptable: an examination of the decision-making process in Japanese medical settings Michie Kawashima Chapter 4 Resistance to treatment recommendations: an interactional resource to increase information exchange and promote shared decision-making in medical encounters Nan Christine Wang Chapter 5 Exploring end-of-life care in palliative care consultations in Hong Kong David Matthew Edmonds, Olga Zayts-Spence and Jacqueline Yuen Kwan Yuk Chapter 6 Communicating health knowledges across clinic and community: the case of sex characteristics in plurilingual Hong Kong Brian W. King Chapter 7 The "mad consultant dealing with mad people": a discursive historical approach to tensions regarding mental health stigma in Hong Kong Hannah Shipman and Olga Zayts-Spence Chapter 8 The discursive construction and negotiation of genetic knowledge in an online health forum in Mainland China Zhengpeng Luo and Olga Zayts-Spence Chapter 9 Improving intergenerational communication: a case study of interactions between medical students and senior citizens in a Japanese community Rintaro Imafuku, Koji Tsunekawa, Chihiro Kawakami and Kazuhiko Fujisaki Chapter 10 Conclusion: advancing healthcare communication research in ‘Global Peripheries’David Matthew Edmonds and Olga Zayts-Spence


    Olga Zayts-Spence is Director of Research and Impact Initiative for Communication in Healthcare (HKU RIICH)  at the University of Hong Kong (www.hkuriich.org). Her pionerring applied linguistic research on healthcare communication in Hong Kong and Greater China spans over 17 years and covers such diverse healthcare settings as genetic counselling and genetic/genomic medicine, mental health, end-of-life care and traditional Chinese medicine, among others. She has published widely on various topics related to language and communication in healthcare, including risk and uncertainty, shared decision-making, the impact of language and culture on healthcare communication, interprofessional health communication and the mental health of vulnerable demographic groups during COVID-19. She works closely with public and private healthcare institutions in Hong Kong. She is also a board member of Mind Hong Kong and an advisory panel member of City Mental Health Alliance, the organizations that promote mental health in Hong Kong.

    Susan M. Bridges is Director of the Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL), Professor of Practice at the Academic Unit of Social Contexts and Policies of Education, and was previously Assistant Dean (Curriculum Innovation) with the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Hong Kong. Her work in higher education is inherently interprofessional and interdisciplinary. She draws on her background in applied linguistics to explore the ‘how’ of effective pedagogy and clinical communication through interactional and ethnographic approaches. Supported by the General Research Fund (GRF) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), her health literacy research in Hong Kong has established new lines of inquiry in oral health literacy and interpreter-mediated clinical dentistry.