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Book: Understanding and Interaction in Clinical and Educational Settings

Chapter: 14. Conclusion--Professional Culture: Persistence and Change

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.27846


Considering understanding in terms of the development of process narratives, grey boxes, and discourse frameworks shows that an emphasis on particular interpretive contingencies is part of the production and reproduction of professional culture. Comparing the radiology consultation and genetics learning data shows why understanding does not simply result from providing well-designed linguistic explanations and visual resources. The interrelation of interpretation activities and the information resources of particular environments can lead either to the reproduction of professional cultures that restrict understandings or to changing professional cultures in ways that benefit clients. Identifying the interpretation activities that produce the process narratives, grey boxes, and discourse frameworks explains such outcomes and their effects on understanding. Based on such research, the chapter considers systematic approaches to improving patients and students’ understandings of medical and biological information.

Chapter Contributors

  • Barry Saferstein ([email protected] - book-auth-439) 'California State University, San Marcos'