Edited by Dorien Van De Mieroop, Jonathan Clifton and Stephanie Schnurr
[Narrative Inquiry 32:1] 2022
► pp. 36–65
Previous research exploring the use of narratives in medical interviews has primarily examined the history-taking phase to illustrate the ways in which physicians and patients discursively collaborate to organize and interpret patients’ illness experiences (Eggly, 2002; Halkowski, 2006; Stivers & Heritage, 2001). In this paper, the scope will be expanded to demonstrate that narrative accounts are interwoven and unfold across various phases of the medical interview, not only the history-taking phase, and are utilized in a variety of ways to collaboratively accomplish specific social practices. A narrative as talk-in-interaction approach is used to examine narrative accounts using audio-recordings of naturally occurring medical interview data (US, American English). This paper examines the ways in which narratives are locally occasioned to do a variety of things (e.g., raise difficult topics, actively resist treatment, reinforce identities), including influencing the treatment decision making process.