BAAL Health & Science Communication SIG Workshop 2017
“Chronic Disease and Language: Understanding Social and Linguistic Representations to Improve Treatment and Prevention”
29 November 2017
Hosted by the Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University
Read a report of the event here :HSC SIG_Report_2017
Programme: HSC SIG_Programme_2017
Book of abstracts: HSC SIG_Book of abstracts_2017
‘Chronic disease’, ‘long-term condition’ and ‘non-communicable disease’ are often used interchangeably to refer to conditions that can be managed, but not cured. Despite the synonymous use, these terms frame differently the conditions they describe – foregrounding the duration of the disease or its mechanism of operation. This ‘what’s in a name’ example is a good if crude illustration of how language can shape our thinking about chronic disease. As chronic diseases become more widespread among populations worldwide, they are also increasingly the target of government initiatives for treatment and prevention and therefore, increasingly the focus of text and talk. From a discourse studies perspective, texts do not simply describe the reality of a chronic condition. By drawing on some types of knowledge and not others, incorporating the voices of some actors but not others and highlighting certain aspects of a condition and not others, they help construct the reality of that condition. Research has revealed how health-related information leaflets, media articles, policy documents and more recently, social marketing campaign advertisements explicitly or implicitly prioritise certain causes, propose solutions, allocate responsibility and ultimately, construct particular understandings of chronic diseases and what needs to be done about them. A finding that runs through much of the literature is about the prevalence of an individualised discourse and/or a victim-blaming style and stigmatisation of the affected individuals.
In recent years, the focus on early intervention and prevention of chronic diseases has intensified in parallel with a growing understanding that solving chronic disease problems would require multi- or trans-disciplinary research and taking a much broader view of the drivers of health beyond the individual level. We therefore welcome papers that study chronic diseases and representations in contemporary texts adopting various methodological and theoretical approaches (including, but not limited to discourse, framing, metaphor, narrative) with the aim of understanding how language shapes (and potentially limits) the ways that individuals and institutions can think, speak and behave. The aim of the workshop is to bring together researchers from the fields of the social sciences, humanities and beyond to share findings relating to the key challenges and opportunities that representations pose to treatment and prevention targets.
- Dr Shona Hilton, Deputy Director, Medical Research Council (MRC)/Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office (CSO) Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow
- Prof Rusi Jaspal, School of Applied Social Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University
Past workshop: “Experiences of illness and death: learning from the discourses of realities and fictions”
BAAL Health & Science Communication SIG Workshop
28 November 2016
Hosted by the Faculty of Well-being, Education and Language Studies
The Open University, Milton Keynes
Read a summary and reflections on the workshop here: hsc-narrative-workshop-report
“Any serious illness is a medical event, but it is lived in narrative terms” wrote Andrew Solomon in a recent article for The Guardian. This workshop will focus on these ‘lived’ and ‘narrative’ aspects of the experience of illness and death from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
Accounts of illness and dying by patients, carers and healthcare professionals have been at the heart the medical humanities for several decades. They have been called upon to better understand patients and to enable patient-centered care, to improve training and empathy in healthcare professionals and to begin to assist those who informally support and care for the ill. They have been investigated from the perspectives of history, sociology, literature, the visual arts and, more recently, linguistics. At the same time, these disparate approaches and applications, have tended to leave the field somewhat fragmented. The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers of different backgrounds who examine and use experiences of illness and death to discuss and explore the methods and applications that allow us to get the most out of these rich and powerful sources of evidence.
Dr Julie Ellis, University of Sheffield
Dr Jonathon Tomlinson, NHS The Lawson Practice (https://abetternhs.wordpress.com/about/)
New BAAL Health and Science Communication SIG events calendar.
If you would like to add events which are relevant to those with an interest in health and science communication research, please contact our Communications Secretary, Olivia Knapton at: firstname.lastname@example.org
9TH NOVEMBER 2015 – WORKSHOP
MEDIATED HEALTH COMMUNICATION: PERSPECTIVES FROM ETHNOGRAPHY AND DISCOURSE ANALYSIS
Hosted by the Language Centre School of Language, Linguistics, and Film, Queen Mary University of London
Read a summary and reflections on the workshop here: sigs_hsc_ 2016_meeting_report
This first SIG workshop will focus on the theme of computer mediated health communication taking a broad view of the diverse digital contexts in which health communication is developed through the medium of language. We are particularly interested in contributions that use the frameworks of ethnography and discourse analysis for the selection and analysis of linguistic features in order to understand relations between digital texts and their wider contexts of production and reception.
The new possibilities of using ICT technologies for practitioner-
The aims of this workshop are to bring together researchers who examine health communication from the theoretical and methodological traditions of linguistic ethnography and discourse analysis, to test the value of combining different research methods and to share solutions to the challenges of data analysis and interpretation posed by online environments. We are particularly interested in building theoretical and methodological bridges between applied linguistics, medical sociology, media studies and social psychology.
Invited speakers include:
- Prof Elena Semino (University of Lancaster)
- Dr Julia Bailey (University College London)
The programme for the day is available to download: Computer_mediated_health_communication_9_Nov_preliminary_programme
- Full fee –
- BAAL members’ fee –
- Student fee –