1. Approaches to healthcare communication resear ch
  2. Discourse analysis of healthcare communication
  3. What counts as data in health communication research?
  4. Working with spoken data
  5. Narratives of illness experience
  6. Stigma and social dimensions of illness experience
  7. Health communication in the public sphere
  8. Collaborating with healthcare institutions
  9. Central themes of discourse analytic research in healthcare
  10. Ethical dimensions and reflexivity of research
  11. Culture and healthcare communication




  1. To introduce the students to main analytic approaches to the analysis of authentic health communication data from a range of healthcare sites;
  2. To develop the students' critical awareness of the key issues of modern healthcare communication;
  3. To develop the students' appreciation of the impact of globalization of professional workforce and 'superdiversity' of patient population on healthcare deliveries;
  4. To enable the students to engage in the analysis of healthcare discourses using the theoretical foundations acquired in the course.




  • Lectures (2 hours a week) will introduce fundamental concepts and frameworks, including methods for engaging in data analysis.
  • Tutorials (1 hour every week or fortnight depending on class size) will provide opportunities for students to engage in exercises and discussion.




Assessment for the course is through coursework and group presentations. This is made up of three assignments:

  1. Group presentation of data analysis undertaken during tutorials (data selected by students) (25%)
  2. 500 word outline plan for Assignment 3 (15%)
  3. 2000 word essay including data analysis – students may select from a choice of data (provided by teacher). This will involve close engagement with authentic data, identifying and defining themes, locating relevant literature and communicating the results in a comprehensive and logical manner (60%)




Charmaz, K. (1990). ‘Discovering’ chronic illness: using grounded theory. Social Science & Medicine 30 (11): 1161-1172.

Mishler, EG. (1984). Routine practice: The voice of medicine and the structure of unremarkable interviews. In The Discourse of Medicine: Dialectics of Medical Interviews, 59-93. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex.

Sarangi, S. (2005). The conditions and consequences of professional discourse studies. Journal of Applied Linguistics 2 (3): 371-394.

Sarangi, S. (2010). Practicing discourse analysis in healthcare settings. In I. Bourgeault, R. DeVries and R. Dingwall (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Methods in Health Research, 397-416. London: Sage.

Silverman, D. (1987). Coercive interpretation in the clinic: the social construction of the Down’s Syndrome child, 136-157. In Communication and Medical Practice: Social Relations in the Clinic. London: Sage.

Waitzkin, H. (1991). The Politics of Medical encounters: How Doctors and Patients deal with Social Problems. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.



Last updated: 8 January 2018