Advice-giving and advice-receiving in doctor/patient interactions in Nigerian hospitals

1 December 2022 until 1 December 2024
Project type

This project will use theories from linguistics to examine how advice-giving and advice-receiving are internationally organised, and how they, in turn, shape medical interactions in Nigerian hospitals. Specifically, it will investigate how doctors and patients come to a shared understanding in advisory interactions that allows them to navigate the interactional agenda, despite the possible differences in ideologies, ethnic backgrounds and asymmetry in power and knowledge. I will address the following research questions:

  1. How is advice offered and received in Nigerian hospitals? Response to this question would demonstrate how advice-giving and its reception are verbalized e.g. through intonation, pauses, repairs, and unverbalized through non-verbal behaviours such as gestures and gaze.
  2. Where are the precise positions of advisory interactions within the consultations? Response to this question would show how advice changes radically, depending on how it is worded and positioned in the consultations.
  3. What are the impacts of cultural ideologies and power/knowledge asymmetries on advisory interactions in the consultations? Response to this question would explore how specific societal and institutional contexts (e.g. doctoring styles) of the medical encounters impact on advice-giving and advice-receiving in the consultations.

As part of the expected results, the project would explicate the form and functions of advice-giving and advice-receiving in doctor/patient interactions in Nigerian hospitals. The project will provide insight into the relationship between advisory interactions and conflict management in the interactions. In addition, the project is expected to present a sound methodology for the interpretation of advisory interactions in non-native English contexts such as Nigerian hospitals where socio-cultural norms are evident in the interactions. This will help in achieving a clear understanding of how advisory interactions are used in such contexts in the management of discourse and interpersonal relations. This will, in a way, reveal the differences in the structure of advisory interactions in Nigerian English and native English varieties.

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