1st Edition

Rhetorical Ethos in Health and Medicine Patient Credibility, Stigma, and Misdiagnosis

By Cathryn Molloy Copyright 2020
    180 Pages
    by Routledge

    178 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores rhetorical ethos and its ongoing role in patients’ credibility and in misdiagnoses stemming from gender, race and class-based biases. Drawing on the concept of ethos as a theoretical framework, it explores health and mental illness across different conditions and across different methodological approaches.

    Extending work on ethos in clinical encounters and public discourse about biomedicine and presenting new research on the rhetoric of mental health, stigma and mental illness, the book explores how bias in clinical settings can lead to symptoms labelled "in the patient’s head" masking treatable medical problems.

    This notable contribution to the rhetoric of health and medicine will be of interest to all researchers and graduate students of rhetoric and composition studies, rhetoric of health and medicine, disability studies, medical humanities, communication, and psychology.

    Chapter One: Introduction: Theorizing Vernacular Credibility and How Patients Mobilize Ethos Chapter Two: Vulnerable Rhetors and Stigma in Health and Medicine Chapter Three: Contested Diagnoses and Ethos: How Patients Push Back When Care Providers Misdiagnose Somatic Symptoms Chapter Four: Phantom Limb Pain and Tacit Appeals to Ethos: When Patients’ Self-Knowledge Exceeds Existing Clinical Knowledge and Predicts Future Clinical Findings Chapter Five: Recuperative Ethos and Agile Epistemologies in Mental Health and Beyond Chapter Six: Conclusion: Toward a Methodology for Studying Everyday Ethos in Clinical Settings


    Cathryn Molloy is Associate Professor in James Madison University’s School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication where she also serves as Director of Undergraduate Studies. Her work has appeared in College English, Rhetoric Review, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Qualitative Inquiry, and Technical Communication Quarterly.