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A case for historical "wide-angle" genre analysis: A personal retrospective

Author(s): Carol Berkenkotter

Journal: Ibérica
ISSN 1139-7241

Volume: 18;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: genre analysis | case histories in psychiatry | historical narrative | antecedent genres | professionalization

This paper describes a mixed-method approach to conducting historical genre analysis of case history narratives in psychiatry from the late eighteenth to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Using my recent book-length study, Patient Tales: Case Histories and the Uses of Narrative in Psychiatry, as an example of this approach, I describe what researchers may gain by integrating the techniques of discourse analysis with textual exegesis and rhetorical analysis. Such a repertoire is needed in “wide-angle” studies of histories of the professions in order to capture the complex interactions among sociohistorical, technological, demographic, and epistemological factors in professions that traverse the boundaries between the natural and human sciences.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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