Skip to main content

Laughter in medical interaction: From quantification to analysis, and back

Buy Article:

$43.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

This study discusses the use of quantification in analysing interactional practices, especially in conversation analytical work. The paper concentrates on laughter in medical interaction and starts from a quantitative point of view. West (1984) found certain statistical patterns of laughter in medical interaction: the patients laugh more than the doctors and most laughter is not reciprocated, i.e. the interactants mostly laugh alone. This statistical pattern is also found in Finnish data but it is approached again from the micro-analytical point of view and some features of it are problematised through analysing in more detail: (1) the ways in which laughter is made relevant; (2) how laughter is responded to; and (3) the interactional functions laughter can have. The paper shows that Schegloff’s (1993) critique of quantitative interactional work is indeed called for, but nevertheless also presents advantages of quantification: the distribution of laughter between the participants in medical interaction turned out to be an interesting issue, one which is revealing of their different interactional roles and footings.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Conversation analysis; doctor–patient interaction; laughter; quantification

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: 01 May 2002

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more