Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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Previous research has investigated aspects of deontics, epistemics, and resistance in medical settings. However, few have focused on deontics and how resistance shapes the responses of deontic authority (Stivers and Timmermans 2020), especially in online medical counseling. Utilizing the data collected from online medical consultation and adopting a discursive approach, this study investigates how doctors deploy deontic authority to resolve caregivers’ deontic right-based resistance. It is found that caregivers’ deontic right-based resistance comprises two major categories: strong deontic right-based resistance and weak deontic right-based resistance. Accordingly, doctors tend to use strong deontic authority to resolve caregivers’ strong deontic right-based resistance and mitigated deontic authority to resolve weak one. Because doctors’ deontic authority is particularly vulnerable in online contexts, it is proposed that doctors value their deontic authority in the decision-making of a treatment plan, which they manifest by protecting their deontic authority when their deontic territory is invaded.


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