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Anticipatory discourse in prenatal education
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Scandinavian Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1776-435X
2018 (English)In: Discourse & Communication, ISSN 1750-4813, E-ISSN 1750-4821, Vol. 12, no 1, p. 3-19Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores communicative aspects of preparing others, by studying prenatal education classes in which midwives prepare expectant parents for delivery. Data include documentation from classes and interviews with the presenters. This twofold dataset enables investigation into how ideologies of communication figure into the production of discourse. A dominant idea is that discourse can stand in for lived experience in the endeavor to decrease nervousness and fear in the expectant parents. The observation data are therefore analyzed by paying attention to how the expectant parents’ future deliveries are discursively represented. Drawing on the conceptual framework for analyzing anticipatory discourse, the study shows how the midwives largely frame this future as predictable and the mother as highly agentive. When addressing unexpected turbulence, however, the midwives use the opportunity to stress the agency of medical professionals to maintain a representation of the delivery event as generally predictable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 12, no 1, p. 3-19
Keywords [en]
anticipatory discourse, childbirth, health communication, ideology of communication, language ideology, parental education, preparation
Keywords [sv]
antecipatorisk diskurs, barnafödande, förberedelse, förlossningsförberedande utbildning, föräldrautbildning, hälsokommunikation, kommunikationsideologi, språkideologi
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-139560DOI: 10.1177/1750481317735708ISI: 000419850500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-139560DiVA, id: diva2:1072831
Available from: 2017-02-08 Created: 2017-02-08 Last updated: 2018-02-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Knowledgeable Parent: Ideologies of Communication in Swedish Health Discourse
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Knowledgeable Parent: Ideologies of Communication in Swedish Health Discourse
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Den kunniga föräldern : Kommunikationsideologier i svensk hälsodiskurs
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores the communication of health knowledge among new parents in Sweden. Based on three separate studies, the thesis employs a selection of theoretical concepts and methodological approaches, mainly originating from mediated discourse analysis and linguistic anthropology. Study 1 takes a broad view on the object and asks how knowledge circulates and emerges in a particular arena for parental knowledge. Drawing on nine months of online fieldwork on a discussion forum thread for expectant parents, the study shows that communication of knowledge is engendered by entextualizations and recenterings of previous experiences, including encounters with discourse. This fact challenges categorical conceptions that construct some sources of health knowledge as trustworthy and others as unreliable, and thus, potentially harmful. Study 2 narrows the focus to professionals typically perceived as producers of parental health knowledge, namely, midwives who give prenatal education classes. Drawing on a dataset comprising observations of classes as well as interviews with midwives, the study throws analytical light on anticipatory discourse, that is, discourse designed to dictate and influence the future, and elucidates some of the ways in which midwives prepare the participants for their upcoming delivery by discursively constructing links to these future events. Study 3, finally, takes the perspective of a single individual in whose life several forms of communicated parental knowledge converge as she becomes a mother. The study focuses on a period during which this individual struggles with breastfeeding problems. A combination of the notions of interdiscursivity and the historical body is here employed to grasp this experience as shaped in relation to discourse regarding child care and health. Looking at narrative data through this lens, the study shows how this individual connects failure to follow official breastfeeding recommendations to failure to perform child care in an appropriate way. At heart, the study makes a case for the moral loading of health knowledge and cautions against the assumption that authoritative medical knowledge is the only means for taking action that a new mother might need. In conclusion, the present thesis utilizes a combination of theoretical and methodological tools from MDA and linguistic anthropology to enable a discourse analysis of health communication that privileges a view of language in use as accumulating vis-à-vis engendering meaning over time and in relation to social action. Invoking the notion of ideologies of communication, it demonstrates that parents’ knowledge about their children’s health is a non-neutral issue, and that instrumental aspects of parental health knowledge can never be isolated from moral ideas regarding how particular parenting practices are to be carried out. At the same time, the thesis points out that while representatives of institutions of the welfare state may produce messages to communicate health knowledge, the knowledge obtained by individuals is the product of myriad discursive encounters and other experiences, of which the discourse produced by representatives of state institutions constitutes only one share.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Stockholm University, 2017. p. 72
Series
Stockholm studies in Scandinavian philology, ISSN 0562-1097 ; 65
Keywords
child care, health communication, knowledge, language ideology, linguistic anthropology, mediated discourse analysis, parenting, sociolinguistics, the welfare state, föräldraskap, hälsokommunikation, kunskap, lingvistisk antropologi, medierad diskursanalys, sociolingvistik, språkideologi, välfärdsstaten
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-139562 (URN)978-91-7649-686-2 (ISBN)978-91-7649-687-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-03-24, sal G, Arrheniuslaboratorierna, Svante Arrhenius väg 20 C, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 3: Accepted.

Available from: 2017-03-01 Created: 2017-02-08 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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