Humor and the Healing Arts: A Multimethod Analysis of Humor Use in Healthcare

Humor and the Healing Arts: A Multimethod Analysis of Humor Use in Healthcare

by Athena du Pr', Athena du Pre
     
 

ISBN-10: 0805826475

ISBN-13: 9780805826470

Pub. Date: 11/28/1997

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Offering a social scientific look at humor's role in medical transactions, this volume is based on extensive field study in seven medical settings. It includes excerpts from dozens of actual conversations between patients and caregivers. Analysis of these episodes reveals that humor is a practical tool used to meet many medical objectives. It is used by patients to

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Overview

Offering a social scientific look at humor's role in medical transactions, this volume is based on extensive field study in seven medical settings. It includes excerpts from dozens of actual conversations between patients and caregivers. Analysis of these episodes reveals that humor is a practical tool used to meet many medical objectives. It is used by patients to good-naturedly complain and to campaign for more personal attention, and by caregivers to get attention, make amends, insist on unpleasant routines, and establish rapport.

Examining humor from many angles, the book begins with a phenomenological analysis of the essence of funny. This section describes what makes some things funny but not others, and how to distinguish between potentially funny and unfunny episodes in medical situations. From an ethnographic perspective, joking around is shown to be a persuasive element of medical culture. Examples illustrate how patients and caregivers use humor to negotiate the dialectics between helping and hurting, and individuality and compliance. Additionally, a close-up look at three medical transactions shows how humor is used to help a physical therapy patient overcome fear and queasiness, reduce the embarrassment of a mammography, and defuse a potential conflict between a student aide and a young patient. A final section examines techniques for initiating conversational humor.

In sum, this volume provides an intimate and realistic look at medical conversations as they are conducted every day. It serves as a valuable complement to health communication texts and offers information of interest to health communication scholars, healthcare practitioners, and anyone interested in the effects and techniques of conversational humor. Richly grounded in naturally occurring data, the book can be understood and used effectively by both scholars and practitioners.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805826470
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
11/28/1997
Series:
Routledge Communication Series
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
1240L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Preface
1Introduction3
2Related Literature in Health Communication9
3Related Humor Literature19
4Conceptual Foundations31
5Overview of Humor in Health Care Settings37
6About Phenomenology47
7The Essence of Funny49
8Funny in Relation to Health Care61
9The Ethnographic Approach67
10Torture by Hickey Machine: We're All in This Together75
11Discreet Humor in a Breast Care Center88
12Empathic Humor in a Doctor's Office100
13Overview and Significance of Humor in Medical Settings110
14The Rules of the Humor Game117
15Humor and the Code of Dignity121
16Humor and the Code of Compassion132
17Overview and Significance of Humor and Appropriateness141
18Ethnomethodological Approach145
19Candid Camera and Gestalt Psychology151
20Playful Management of Three Dilemmas157
21Laughter-Coated Complaints166
22Summary183
23A Few Cautions186
24Limitations and Strengths189
25Suggestions for Application192
26Parting Observations198
App. AThe Relationship Between Conversational Context and Structure202
App. BTranscription Guide205
App. CDiscovery Model208
App. DPhilosophy Statement210
References212
Author Index222
Subject Index226

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