Bad News, Good News: Conversational Order in Everyday Talk and Clinical Settings (英語) ハードカバー – 2003/4
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When we share or receive good or bad news, from ordinary events such as the birth of a child to public catastrophes such as 9/11, our "old" lives come to an end, and suddenly we see the world with new eyes. In "Bad News, Good News", Douglas W. Maynard explores how we tell and hear such news, and what's similar and different about the ways we experience good and bad news itself. Uncovering the verbal and nonverbal patterns in the bearing of news on everyday conversations as well as in hospitals and other settings, Maynard shows how people give and receive good or bad news, how they come to "realize" the news and their new world, and how they construct social relationships through the sharing of news. He also reveals the implications of his study for understanding public affairs in which the conveyance of news may influence society at large, and he provides recommendations for professionals and others on how to convey bad or good news more effectively. For anyone who wants to understand how news gets communicated, "Bad News, Good News" offers a wealth of scholarly insights and practical advice.
Douglas W. Maynard is a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is the author of "Inside Plea Bargaining: The Language of Negotiation" and coeditor of "Standardization and Tacit Knowledge: Interaction and Practice in the Survey Interview."
In the research literature on bad news delivery, few have the discipline and patience to study *real* episodes of bad news (as opposed to laboratory or other experimental simulations). In combining that analytic patience with years of experience as an internationally regarded scholar of human interaction, Professor Maynard has produced a work which sets the standard for future research on bad and good news delivery.
This book is a well written summary of research that has immediate practical applicability to any clinical or non-clinical realm where bad news must be delivered. I use it in the teaching of medical students, internal medicine and family medicine residents, and other clinicians. My students have found Professor Maynard's research informative, interesting, and (most importantly) useful.
The substance in this book is that people reveal bad and good news differently, and of course react differently. Much of this is at best mildly interesting though, outside academic circles run on professional scepticism, hardly Earth shattering. In the case of bad news the author concludes that people like it to be signalled in advance so they can prime themselves somewhat. Being blunt is not wanted.
There is an interesting section contrasting the reactions of clients in a HIV testing clinic on been given either good or bad news. You could have knocked me down with a feather when it was revealed that clients that received the all clear were relieved and elated and almost chatty, whereas the infected were more 'stoical' and upset. I presume, fatalistic and angry is more in order. I must confess I found this sections a bit too voyeuristic for my tastes.
In a nutsheel, the book is a large collection vignettes of people's reaction to highs and lows. In my opinion it is unnecessarily long and the author could have drawn his conclusions together earlier and more quickly.
I am uncertain about the contribution to knowledge this type of exerecise produces. To maintain an identity CA has fought to decouple itself from formal linguistics and most of social psychology, who it is addressing and what its scientific objectives are, elude me.
I left this book, as I have left other CA books - completely unsure whether the whole enterprise is stuck in a thick fog of vagueness and subjectivity, or is on the threshold of something scientifically respectable. I am still unsure.