Integrating emotion in interaction in the case of acquired brain injury
‘Aphasia’ is characterized by challenges in the production of speech. A variety of applied pragmatic approaches to aphasia exist. Many other units than linguistic units are central to meaning-making with persons with acquired brain injury, ABI (Goodwin 2003a): Embodied talk, multimodal units such as gesturing, pointing, gazing and bodily posture, the handling of objects etc.
Data excerpts from a collaborative study will be discussed in order to demonstrate the pros and cons of a new cross-interdisciplinary approach between ‘augmented’ CA and an applied integrational linguistics perspective. I draw on a study, which investigates routines and emotion displays mainly in a care home setting, where some of the participants have severe acquired brain injury. Critical situations where emotion is relevant, e.g. cases of compliance and non-compliance to having memorized something “wrong” or ”correctly”, are investigated. Critical emotional displays seem to depend on circumstantial factors; which situation, persons, purpose or the challenge there is at stake (to win the argument versus being polite etc.) rather than retrievable interactional/organizational patterns (Harris 1998: 25; Goodwin 2003a; Klemmensen, forthcoming). The organization of talk after trauma is often characterized as ‘atypical’ in their organizational patterns (Perkins 2003). The notion ‘atypical communication’ represents the current data-driven analytical discourse in rehabilitation studies and health communication (Goodwin 2003a, 2003b; Wilkinson 2011). It may be applied for ethical purposes in the tradition after Goodwin’s augmented version of Conversation analysis (CA), which aims to retrieve what is perceivable for the other participants in interactions (Goodwin 2003a). Still, it contributes to a segregationist stance in an integrational perspective (Harris 1998, 2012: 44).
May ’sense-making’ be approached integrationally as ‘persons’ experienced understandings’ (Harris, 1998, 2012: 43; Conrad, 2011; Nielsen, 2015)? May micro-social factors, macro-social factors and the history of a person’s interactional behaviour be used to investigate communicative habits, as they are displayed under various circumstances (Sarangi 2007)? Finally, may a new approach help distinguish the experienced communication as practiced by the participants from the analyst’s interpretations (Fleming 1995; Harris 1998, 2009, 2012; Nielsen 2015; Sarangi 2007)?