Review: Verena Dreißig (2005). Interkulturelle Kommunikation im Krankenhaus. Eine Studie zur Interaktion zwischen Klinikpersonal und Patienten mit Migrationshintergrund [Intercultural Communication in the Hospital. A Study of Hospital Staff Interaction with Migrant Patients]

Dietmar Rost


Based on participant observation and interviews which the author carried out in two hospitals, the study analyses intercultural communication between staff and patients with migrant backgrounds. This is embedded in a broader analysis of staff-patient relations in general, i.e., without regard to questions of cultural difference. The book provides vivid insights into the researched fields. Its main conclusion states that intercultural communication in hospitals is less problematic than is often assumed. It remains difficult, however, to understand how that conclusion was derived from the material presented. This problem is linked with, among other things, the use of different concepts of culture. A further shortcoming is the inconsistent accounts of methods applied. Thus, the book will be of interest especially to those coming from practice. To them, the account based on the fieldworker's external view may serve as a reflection of their own work practice and their dealing with patients of different cultural background. It is exactly that readership to whom the book’s practice-related suggestions and conclusions are addressed. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs070155


culture; fieldwork; health sciences; hospital; intercultural communication; interviews; migration; nursing service science; participant observation; staff-patient interaction in hospitals


Copyright (c) 2007 Dietmar Rost

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