Browsing Social and Political Science by Journal
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Building a case for accessing service provision in child and adolescent mental health assessmentsIn everyday conversations, people put forward versions of events and provide supporting evidence to build a credible case. In environments where there are potentially competing versions, case-building may take a more systematic format. Specifically, we conducted a rhetorical analysis to consider how in child mental health settings, families work to present a credible ‘doctorable’ reason for attendance. Data consisted of video-recordings of 28 families undergoing mental health assessments. Our findings point to eight rhetorical devices utilised in this environment to build a case. The devices functioned rhetorically to add credibility and authenticate the case being built, which was relevant as the only resource available to families claiming the presence of a mental health difficulty in the child were their spoken words. In other words, the ‘problem’ was something constructed through talk and therefore the kinds of resources used were seminal in decision-making.
Ethics in Praxis: Negotiating the Role and Functions of a Video Camera in family therapyThe use of video for research purposes is something that has attracted ethical attention and debate. While the usefulness of video as a mechanism to collect data is widely agreed, the ethical sensitivity and impact of recording equipment is more contentious. In some clinical settings the presence of a camera has a dual role, as a portal to a reflecting team and as a recording device to obtain research data. Using data from one such setting, family therapy sessions, this article shows how the role played by recording equipment is negotiated in the course of talk and other activities that constitute sessions. Analysis reveals that members of the therapy interaction orient in different ways and for different purposes to the value of recordings. The article concludes that there are layers of benefit to be derived from recording of clinical interactions, including for members themselves, and this has wider implications for the ways in which qualitative research designs in health sciences are evaluated.
‘Gossiping' as a social action in family therapy: The pseudo-absence and pseudo-presence of childrenFamily therapists face a number of challenges in their work. When children are present in family therapy they can and do make fleeting contributions. We draw upon naturally occurring family therapy sessions to explore the ‘pseudo-presence’ and ‘pseudo-absence’ of children and the institutional ‘gossiping’ quality these interactions have. Our findings illustrate that a core characteristic of gossiping is its functional role in building alignments’ which in this institutional context is utilized as a way of managing accountability. Our findings have a number of implications for clinical professionals and highlight the value of discourse and conversation analysis techniques for exploring therapeutic interactions.