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Situated abstraction: From the particular to the general in second-order diagnostic work
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (CLIP)
Göteborgs Universitet.
Göteborgs Universitet.
Göteborgs Universitet och Sahlgrenska Akademin.
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2014 (English)In: Discourse Studies, ISSN 1461-4456, E-ISSN 1461-7080, Vol. 16, no 2, 185-215 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present study examines the work of a group of medical scientists as they identify interpretative ‘pitfalls’ – recurrent sources of error – in the use of a new radiographic technique, formulate suggestions on how these pitfalls can be avoided and communicate their findings in the form of a scientific publication. The analysis focuses on a session in which previously diagnosed cases are discussed, and demonstrates the ways in which a certain source of diagnostic error gradually emerges as a taken-for-granted in the interaction. An increased sense of recognition, recurrence and typicality is discernible in the treatment of the cases. Talk characterized by expansions and elaborations, displays of understanding in the form of reformulations, understanding checks, and so on, leave room for brief typifications and reifications of interpretative difficulties in characteristics of the imaging technique. Topical treatment of perception and interpretation, as well as embodied engagement, become decreasingly salient. It is argued that the abstracted formulations in the published text rely on the case-by-case working up of generality from particularity; from individualized accounts of why ‘I’ interpreted the image in a certain way to proffered generalizations achieved through articulated perceptions of a generalized ‘one’. If these proffers are ratified, a potential ground is established for the consensual formulation of a pitfall. The formulation of novel instructions is consequently made relevant, projecting a re-instructed diagnostic practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 16, no 2, 185-215 p.
Keyword [en]
conversation analysis, ethnomethodology, radiology, scientific work, visualization
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Pedagogy Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-221599DOI: 10.1177/1461445613514674ISI: 000333486000004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-221599DiVA: diva2:709681
Available from: 2014-04-02 Created: 2014-04-02 Last updated: 2014-05-12Bibliographically approved

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Lymer, Gustav
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Department of Education
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Discourse Studies
Social Sciences InterdisciplinaryPedagogyRadiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical ImagingSociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

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