A Critical Discourse Perspective on Understandings of the Nature of Aphasia

Authored by: Alison Ferguson

Handbook of Qualitative Research in Communication Disorders

Print publication date:  November  2013
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9781848726420
eBook ISBN: 9780203798874
Adobe ISBN: 9781134187416


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This chapter applies a critical discourse perspective to the different ways in which the communication disorder known as aphasia is currently understood. Through the use of a single case study of a woman who has acquired moderate-severe aphasia following stroke, the chapter compares a range of discourse samples that illuminate how her difficulties are identified and described. Excerpts from a written report of results of formal testing, a case history interview, a casual conversation with a clinician, and an interview for public awareness about aphasia are analyzed. These texts are also compared with an analysis of the representation of aphasia in discourse samples from websites of speech-language pathology professional associations and support groups for aphasia. Implications arising from this critical discourse perspective for the practice of speech-language pathology are discussed.

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