Digital Communication in the Professions
Digital technologies are now central to the ways that most modern day organisations operate, and this influence continues to grow apace. Advancements in digital communicative technologies, particularly since the early 1990s, have enabled organisations of all types and sizes across the globe to communicate and actually ‘do’ business more effectively and efficiently. These technological developments, which range from text messaging and email, to blogging and mobile apps, have brought with them new styles of communication. Given the growing influence of digital technologies, not only in organisations but in society more generally, it is important to understand and indeed critique such technologies and the communicative styles that they produce.This module explores the phenomenon of digital communication in professional contexts. It will introduce the communicative practices that take place over a variety of digital platforms (for example: telephone, email, websites, adverts, social media) across a rich array of professional domains (for example: call centres, online shopping, healthcare and even payday lenders!). We will ask (and answer) questions like: how do people use digital communications to communicate more efficiently at work? How do advertisers use language and image to target their adverts at particular online consumers? How do people create positive personal and professional identities when using social media? And what role do digital technologies play in enabling online anti-social behaviour (i.e. flaming, trolling and cyber-bullying)? In answering these and other questions, this module will also introduce a range of flexible methodological and theoretical approaches that can be used to produce more sophisticated insights into digital communication across a variety of platforms and in more or less any professional environment. This type of close linguistic analysis, guided by these approaches and introduced throughout the module, can equip students with the analytical tools and knowledge to design and carry out their own investigation of professional digital communication. Moreover, this module has a strong focus on how such approaches might be applied in the real world to help modern day organisations to harness the potential (and avoid the some of the pitfalls) of digital technologies in their own communication.
Intercultural Business Communication
This module will explore the use of language in interactions between speakers of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds from three different perspectives: Description, Development, and Assessment. With a growing proportion of interactions in the world today taking place between people of diverse cultural backgrounds, it is important to identify and describe language use which may lead to misunderstanding and communicative breakdown. This module will look at ways in which language barriers might be overcome in such interactions, and at the key factors in this process. We will examine intercultural interactions in a variety of contexts, e.g. business and other professional encounters, the language of the media, the foreign language classroom, etc.
Language, Gender and Professional Communication
The module will examine the relationship between language and gender in professional communication, drawing on key approaches in the areas of discourse analysis, sociolinguistics and pragmatics. Using a variety of linguistic tools, students will analyse language as social practice in a range of spoken, written and computer-mediated contexts and in a variety of areas, such as business, politics, healthcare and the law.The module explores contemporary issues, such as sexism in professional contexts and critically overviews theoretical paradigms on sex differences and gender stereotypes in the professions. Examples of topics to be covered are: Gender in workplace interaction, gender and leadership, intersections between gender, ethnicity and class, gender ideologies in the media, performativity and sexuality and finally misogyny and cyberhate in digital contexts. Students will be encouraged to combine theoretical thinking with hands-on analyses of authentic empirical data, including recent examples from (online) media. We conclude by reflecting on the practical consequences of the discipline in terms of how research can have a political impact on wider society and public policy.
The module explores the interrelationship between language and leadership at work, shedding light on how leadership identities become enacted through discourse in a wide range of professional settings. Using a variety of analytic methods and data sources, students will have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of different leadership styles and also different communicative means through which leadership is enacted through talk. Particular focus will be placed on topics such as: the delegation of tasks, negotiations and decision-making as well as conflict management and miscommunication. The module draws upon real-life data and explores a number of socially-situated interactions, including face-to-face exchanges and written communication. By relying on such real-life instances of interaction, the module aims to provide students with an opportunity to explore the crucial role played by discourse in determining social and institutional affairs.
The Language of Compliance
This module addresses the issue of compliance in healthcare from a communications perspective. It begins by examining the terminology from a sociological perspective, considering to what extent alternative terms such as adherence and concordance represent a paradigm shift in either policy or practice. The remainder of the module is divided into two sections: macro or structural issues affecting compliance, such as age, gender, cultural background and educational level; and micro level or interactional issues, such as the differences in design and receipt between advice, information or instruction.
Health Care Narratives
This module is intended to familiarise students with theories and applications of narrative in health care contexts. The module will address the following key areas:
i) Narratology: Theories of narrative
ii) Personal narratives of illness
iii) Professional narratives
iv) Organisation and policy narratives
v) Narrative as therapeutic intervention
The module will provide students with an opportunity to examine what narrative is and how this knowledge can be deployed to help understand a variety of phenomena encountered in health care. The module will equip students with a high level knowledge of narrative theory and how much of what takes place in health care exchanges are governed by the kinds of narratives that are used. Students will also develop and practice skills in identifying and analysing narratives of patients, professionals and policy makers. Students will also understand how knowledge of narratives can be used to enhance therapeutic interventions and practices across a range of health care disciplines. Students will appreciate how health care environments, structures and practices are informed by broader, macro-level organisational and governmental narratives.
Health Care Documentation
This module introduces students to the study of health care documentation. The term documentation will be defined widely so as to include: Written and electronic records of client care Case conferences, programme planning and care plans Policy documents at national, local and institutional levels Health promotion and education materials.In relation to each of these topics, students will be encouraged to learn about how previous authors have studied these kinds of documentation and critically evaluate the theories and methods employed. Students will, consistent with ethical considerations, be encouraged to collect their own examples for analysis in learning exercises in the module and make use of the materials available in the Nottingham University Health Language Corpus. Learning activities in the module will include a combination of critical analysis of existing research and the students own analysis of health care documentation materials.
Investigating Health Communication
This module is intended to introduce you to the rapidly expanding field of health communication. The module focuses on two key areas in the field: narratives of healthcare and healthcare documentation. It is designed to equip you with a high level knowledge of narrative and documentation theory and to explore how much of what takes place in healthcare exchanges is governed by the kinds of narratives and documents that are used. The module will provide you with the opportunity to develop and practice skills in identifying and analysing narratives of, and documents relating to, patients, professionals and policy makers. This will help you understand how knowledge of healthcare texts can be used to enhance therapeutic interventions and practices across a range of healthcare disciplines.