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Beyond ideal speech situations: adapting to communication asymmetries in healthcare

Gillespie, Alex ORCID: 0000-0002-0162-1269, Reader, Tom W., Cornish, Flora ORCID: 0000-0002-3404-9385 and Campbell, Catherine (2014) Beyond ideal speech situations: adapting to communication asymmetries in healthcare. Journal of Health Psychology, 19 (1). pp. 72-78. ISSN 1359-1053

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1359105313500251


Inclusive, unconstrained and honest communication is widely advocated as beneficial and ethical. We critically explore this assumption by reflecting upon our research in acute care, informal care and public health. Using Habermas’ ideals of dialogue to conceptualise ideal speech, we concur with observations that health care is often characterised by intractable exclusions and constraints. Rather than advocating implementing the ideals of dialogue, however, we examine how people adapt to these difficult and intransigent contexts. Non-ideal contexts, we find, sometimes call for non-ideal responses. Deception and furthering personal interests, and thus departing from the ideals of dialogue, can be adaptive responses.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 SAGE Publications
Divisions: Methodology
Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2013 16:31
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 00:56

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