Projekt

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Language and health online

Gesuchsteller/in Locher Miriam
Nummer 143286
Förderungsinstrument Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)
Forschungseinrichtung Department of English Basel University
Hochschule Universität Basel - BS
Hauptdisziplin Schwerpunkt Germanistik und Anglistik
Beginn/Ende 01.10.2012 - 31.01.2016
Bewilligter Betrag 349'451.00
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Keywords (7)

health, relational work, therapy, smoking, interpersonal pragmatics, persuasion, computer-mediated communication

Lay Summary (Englisch)

Lead
This linguistic project investigates e(lectronic)-health interaction in asynchronous, written computer-mediated communication. By exploring this interface from a particularly linguistic perspective, we endeavor to contribute to a better understanding of e-health practices. The project consists of two parts: “Persuasion in smoking cessation online” and “Relational work in email counseling”, which pursue joined as well as individual research questions.
Lay summary
In the last decades the Internet has evolved to become an important source of information for health concerns (cf. Richardson 2005). There are many professional information sites, peer-support sites for patients, mailing lists, etc. This makes online health communication an important research field for different disciplines. The linguistic study of online health practices sheds light on how language is used to create meaningful exchanges between professionals and patients and between lay people. A linguist study of these practices is especially pertinent because e-health is predominantly a written mode, relying crucially on language. We are focusing on two areas of health practices that share an element of persuasion: Anti-smoking campaigns and smoking cessation help sites as well as email therapy contain aspects of “attempt[ing] to evoke a specific change in the attitudes or behaviors of an audience”, which is the definition of persuasion provided by Jowett et al. (1999: 28). We wish to study these ‘sites of persuasion’ as an interactive process from a linguistic perspective.

       Professional health Internet sites usually have either a mandate to inform and enlighten a particular target population (cf. e.g. the national and governmental sites) and/or they have the clear aim to contribute to risk prevention and change in behavior of the target group. In a similar vein, online therapists strive to help their patients find their way through a problem by means of the ‘talking cure’, although – crucially for our project – carried out in the written mode. Language is thus exploited for persuasion to achieve these goals. While persuasive strategies on smoking cessation might be expected to be more straightforward than in the non-directive genre of therapy, it is our goal to learn what linguistic persuasion strategies emerge in the different practices. Our methodological approach is positioned within interactional discourse analysis in that we study language in use and wish to explore the variation that we encounter. We are particularly interested in interpersonal pragmatics, i.e. the study of language in use that focuses on the relational side of the practices involved. A combination of the study of the relational aspect of language with language use for persuasive means is an important combination for our research of e-health communication. It is important to stress that we are going to operationalize persuasion by looking at linguistic surface strategies as found in the practices that contain a persuasive orientation rather than looking at psychological effects of persuasive acts in the readers.

       To investigate the interactive process of persuasion in the frames of smoking cessation and therapeutic discourse, we will address the following overarching questions:

(1) What characteristic activities are employed in the different practices (e.g. conveying information, giving advice or reflecting on interactants’ interpretations of events or relationships, inviting introspection, …)?;

(2) What linguistic strategies are employed to achieve these activities?;

(3) What is the relation between the patterns of linguistic strategies and the creation of interpersonal effects (e.g. solidarity, empathy, power, the therapeutic alliance)?

The close collaboration and continual exchange of results between both parts of the project will provide important insights into the dynamic, discursive construction of two online health communication practices from a distinctly linguistic perspective, will add to linguistic theory in the field of interpersonal pragmatics, and will be useful for practitioners.

 

Detailed information can be found here: http://language-health-online.unibas.ch/?Home 

Direktlink auf Lay Summary Letzte Aktualisierung: 17.01.2013

Verantw. Gesuchsteller/in und weitere Gesuchstellende

Mitarbeitende

Publikationen

Publikation
"You will be glad you hung on to this quit": Sharing information and giving support when stopping smoking online
Rudolf von Rohr Marie-Thérèse (2015), "You will be glad you hung on to this quit": Sharing information and giving support when stopping smoking online, in Smith C.A., Keselman A. (ed.), Meeting Health Information Needs Outside of Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges, Chandos/Elsevier, Waltham, MA:, 263-290.

Zusammenarbeit

Gruppe / Person Land
Felder der Zusammenarbeit
BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) Grossbritannien und Nordirland (Europa)
- vertiefter/weiterführender Austausch von Ansätzen, Methoden oder Resultaten

Wissenschaftliche Veranstaltungen

Aktiver Beitrag

Titel Art des Beitrags Titel des Artikels oder Beitrages Datum Ort Beteiligte Personen
Approaches to Digital Discourse Analysis ADDA Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Linguistic expert creation in online health practices 18.11.2015 University of Valencia, Valencia, Spanien Rudolf von Rohr Marie-Thérèse; Thurnherr Franziska; Locher Miriam
Personal Narrative Online Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung 'beau, me and hubby quit cold turkey too': The functions of 'narratives' in two written online health contexts 26.06.2015 Universität Bayreuth, Deutschland Rudolf von Rohr Marie-Thérèse; Thurnherr Franziska; Locher Miriam
i-Mean Identity and Language Conference Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung 'How can people be so angry with me when I'm so harmless?' or how language impacts identity construction in email counseling 09.04.2015 University of Warwick, Warwick, Grossbritannien und Nordirland Locher Miriam; Thurnherr Franziska
4th International Conference Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice ALAPP Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Studying identity construction in written health practices with a mixed methodology approach 10.09.2014 Université de Geneve, Genf, Schweiz Thurnherr Franziska; Rudolf von Rohr Marie-Thérèse; Locher Miriam
12th Communication, Medicine and Ethics Conference COMET Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Email writing as identity construction? How writing constructs clients as moving from advice-seeker to active participant in email counseling 26.06.2014 Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Schweiz Thurnherr Franziska
12th Communication, Medicine and Ethics Conference COMET Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Persuasion through identity construction in advice giving in online smoking cessation 26.06.2014 Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Schweiz Rudolf von Rohr Marie-Thérèse
Digital Humanities: Neue Herausforderungen für den Forschungsplatz Schweiz SAGW Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung "Relational Work" und Identitätskonstruktion in Email-Therapien 28.11.2013 SAGW Bern, Schweiz Thurnherr Franziska
Digital Humanities: Neue Herausforderungen für den Forschungsplatz Schweiz SAGW Poster "Relational Work" und Identitätskonstruktion in Email-Therapien 28.11.2013 SAGW Bern, Schweiz Thurnherr Franziska
11th Communication, Medicine and Ethics Conference COMET Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung 'Together, we will look for the path ahead and the life you can make whole again.' The relationship between therapist and client in email counseling as the driving force for change 11.07.2013 University of Melbourne, Australien Thurnherr Franziska
11th Communication, Medicine and Ethics Conference COMET Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung 'Everyone's quit journey is different': Comparing persuasion on two smoking cessation websites 11.07.2013 University of Melbourne, Australien Rudolf von Rohr Marie-Thérèse
i-Mean Identity and Language Conference Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Welcome back hon- you know you have made the right decision' - The persuasive nature of user identities in a smoking cessation forum 18.04.2013 University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol, Grossbritannien und Nordirland Rudolf von Rohr Marie-Thérèse
i-Mean Identity and Language Conference Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung The Re-Negotiation of Identities in Email Counseling 18.04.2013 University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol, Grossbritannien und Nordirland Thurnherr Franziska
Swiss Workings in English Languages and Linguistics SWELL Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung ‘How can I support you?’ Identity Construction and Relational Work in Email Counseling 15.02.2013 Universität Zürich, Schweiz Thurnherr Franziska
X Encuentro Hispano-Suizo de Filólogos Noveles Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung La persuasión en sitios web antitabaco- ‘It becomes so much easier with the right information' 05.10.2012 Universität Basel, Schweiz Rudolf von Rohr Marie-Thérèse


Abstract

This linguistic project investigates e(lectronic)-health interaction in asynchronous, written computer-mediated communication. By exploring this interface from a particularly linguistic perspective, we endeavor to contribute to a better understanding of e-health practices. Health serves as our site of research. We investigate how health issues are communicated and how specific health related activities such as persuasion and advice are constructed. We are specifically looking at health discourses that are performed online – hence, they are computer-mediated. This means that any part of the communication between provider and providee is done electronically. Finally, the project concerns itself with the language that is used to convey the communication. We research the linguistic constructions of these computer-mediated health discourses. Our focus, therefore, lies in how providees are encouraged to type themselves healthy with the help of the providers. The project consists of two parts: “Persuasion in smoking cessation online” and “Relational work in email counseling”, which pursue joined as well as individual research questions. Detailed information can be found here: http://language-health-online.unibas.ch/?Home