Drawing on extensive firsthand experience of face-to-face meetings between patients and healthcare practitioners, Constructing Patienthood in Brokered Medical Interaction: Iraqi–English Encounters is the first book-length work dedicated to situating limited-English-speaking patients on equal footing with their interlocutors as essential partners in the process of meaning-making. Afaf Ali builds on theoretical and empirical advancements in socio-medical research and language brokering to show how immigrant patients strike a balance between working cooperatively with their language brokers, or independently by overriding the language-assistance process to actuate multiple membership categories as patients, parents, and language brokerees. In doing so, they secure interactional zones that challenge the discursive asymmetries inherent in mediated doctor-patient encounters. This timely work makes it clear that impactful change in healthcare begins with successful communication.
Afaf Ali is a research fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles, National Heritage Language Resource Center.
Chapter 1: The Interaction of Medicine and Art: Key Concepts and Theoretical Applications
Chapter 2: Ethnographic Notes: The Poetics of Collecting Language-Brokering Vignettes
Chapter 3: Patients’ Initiatives: Constructing Patienthood Cooperatively and Independently
Chapter 4: Asserting Patienthood through Expansion
Chapter 5: The Distribution of Mediated Talk: Who Talks and Who talks Next?
Chapter 6: Brokering Medical Decisions
Delving deeply into the nuances of agency and speakership of immigrant patients by examining the complex interactions between the language broker, the language brokeree, and the medical professional, Constructing Patienthood in Brokered Medical Interaction: Iraqi–English Encounters fills several important gaps in the field and is a superb contribution on the subject of social interaction and language brokering in medical settings!