Medical Communication in the Asia Context
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
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Sex and sex-related topics are rather sensitive in the Chinese culture, thus conversations about those topics prove to be a delicate issue. The present study uses Conversation Analysis as the research methodology to analyze the use of communicative strategies in doctor–patient communication about venereal disease. The data excerpt analyzed is from a radio phone-in program that offers medical advice for males’ sex-related diseases, solves problems that the listeners have about certain sexual behavior, and provides general sexual knowledge. In the telephone call selected for the present research, the caller is the mother of the young man who is infected with venereal disease and needs help from the medical expert who is on the program. The mother employs indirect compliment, direct compliment, insider claim, and sympathy seeking as communicative strategies to build solidarity with the doctor. The various communicative strategies used lead to a smooth sequential development of the communication, and illustrate how solidarity-building serves an important function in this specific healthcare context.


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