“Do they understand”? A case study of atypical institutional encounters

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Individuals with impairments face challenges in their seeking to accomplish communicational goals. Despite continuous efforts to communicate, often they appear disregarded. A critical discussion of mutual understanding provides a basis for an investigation of institutional encounters. Video ethnography and field work were carried out in a residential care facility involving an individual with acquired brain injury and professionals. In revisiting the concept of ‘communicational understanding’, an analysis of the individual's efforts to communicate and the professionals' apparent disregard showed discrepancies. This research focused on a perceived lack of ‘communicational care’ in turning the spotlight towards the individual and mutual understanding.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLanguage & Communication
Pages (from-to)70-79
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2022


  • Mutual understanding
  • Fælles forståelse
  • Professional practice
  • Health communication
  • Acquired Brain Injury
  • Senhjerneskade
  • Institutional encounters
  • Atypical interaction
  • Integrationism
  • Integrational linguistics
  • Language psychology
  • Institutional ethnography
  • Harris
  • Taylor
  • Robillard
  • Interpretive asymmetry
  • Impairment
  • ICF
  • UN
  • WHO


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