Gerade erschienen

Sammelband "Discourses of Helping Professions", hg. von Eva-Maria Graf, Marlene Sator und Thomas Spranz-Fogasy
'Discourses of Helping Professions' brings together cutting-edge research on professional discourses from both traditional helping contexts such as doctor-patient interaction or psychotherapy and more recent helping contexts such as executive coaching. Unlike workplace, professional and institutional discourse – by now well established fields in linguistic research – discourses of helping professions represent an innovative concept in its orientation to a common communicative goal: solving patients’ and clients’ physical, psychological, emotional, professional or managerial problems via a particular helping discourse. The book sets out to uncover differences, similarities and interferences in how professionals and those seeking help interactively tackle this communicative goal. In its focus on professional helping contexts and its inter-professional perspective, the current book is a primer, intended to spark off more interdisciplinary and (applied) research on helping discourses, a socio-cultural phenomenon that is of growing importance in our post-modern society. As such, it is of great relevance for discourse researchers and discourse practitioners, caretakers and social scientists of all shades as well as for everybody interested in helping professions.
This article examines patients’ answers to doctors’ questions during history taking as a central activity format which reveal a deeper understanding of each other. An analysis of medical interactions shows that patients mostly expand the topical, structural and/or pragmatic scope of their questions. The sequential positioning of answers provides more possibilities than is to be seen from a strict perspective of question types. Patients’ answers reflect their understanding of the current interaction type, and of the question’s implications, doctors’ relevancies as patients assume them, or even the doctors’ presupposed next question; a phenomenon we call anticipatory reaction. Both action formats and their interplay point to two important principles of interaction: the principle of cooperation and the principle of progressivity within the frame of the particular interaction type.