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Representation of Doctor‒Patient Verbal Conflict in News Discourse of the Social Media Era : Based on Discourse Analysis of Microblog News in Mainland China

  • The Journal of Study on Language and Culture of Korea and China
  • Abbr : JSLCKC
  • 2022, (66), pp.143-174
  • DOI : 10.16874/jslckc.2022..66.006
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Study on Chinese Languge and Culture
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature
  • Received : October 10, 2022
  • Accepted : November 20, 2022
  • Published : November 30, 2022

Zou Manyun 1

1北京大学 医学人文学院 医学语言文化系

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Conflict is the most popular topic of the news media. It is the responsibility of the news media as an institutional social watchdog to report social conflicts, promote conflict settlement and reduce the possibility of their recurring. Verbal conflicts are quite common in doctor‒patient communication. If well managed, they may contribute to the development of a constructive doctor‒patient relationship, but if neglected or ill‒managed, they may lead to disasters to both sides in the clinics. Accurate and objective reporting of doctor‒patient verbal conflicts can enhance the public understanding of the conflicts and in turn help improve the quality of doctor‒patient communication. By applying Leech and Short’s (1981/2001) spectrum of discourse patterns for reporting speech and speech act theory, this paper analyzed the discourse of microblog news reports covering doctor‒patient conflict talks by mainstream news media in Mainland China. Among other findings, the Narrative Reporting of Speech Acts (NRSA) is the most common pattern used to report the speech of doctors and patients. Directives‒Expressives and Directives-Negations are the most highly frequent inductive-responsive speech act pairs to form interactive structures in reported doctor‒patient arguments. These discursive patterns are the rhetorical strategies used by the news media to improve communication efficiency in an environment of the social media era. However, some of the discourse patterns imply problems that may undermine the objectivity and accuracy of the news media in representing real doctor‒patient conflicts. The author raises discursive suggestions accordingly.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.