The objectifying discourse of doctors’ questions. Qualitative analysis of psychiatric interviews

Justyna Ziółkowska


In the article I am interested in grammatical structures of doctors’ questions posed during the first psychiatric interview. Applying the linguistic concept of nominalisation I aim to analyse how interviewing doctors fulfil the process of adjusting impersonal, formal and abstract discourses of clinical disorders in psychiatry to a non-specialised target group of patients, which is assumed in the literature. The data come from initial psychiatric interviews with patients with a preliminary diagnosis of the depressive disorder, recorded by 16 doctors in three psychiatric hospitals in Poland. I shall demonstrate that in the doctors’ questions processes and properties were constructed as abstract and impersonal objects, and thus the patients’ agency and social and temporal contexts of their behaviours were obscured. Consequently, I shall argue that the doctors cannot reach the important information about the patients’ functioning, and, moreover, that the practice ‘profesionalises’ the patients’ role. Explaining the roots of the questioning practices in the corpus I refer to the diagnostic manuals as the lingua franca of mental health professionals.
Author Justyna Ziółkowska (Wydział Zamiejscowy we Wrocławiu)
Justyna Ziółkowska,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy we Wrocławiu
Journal seriesSocial Theory & Health, ISSN 1477-8211, (A 20 pkt)
Issue year2012
Vol10 (3)
Publication size in sheets0
ASJC Classification3312 Sociology and Political Science; 3306 Health(social science)
ziolkowska-objectifying-discourse.pdf of 14-09-2015
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Score (nominal)0
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2014 = 0.891; WoS Impact Factor: 2012 = 0.605 (2) - 2014=1.048 (5)
Citation count*6 (2021-01-17)
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