Sociology Seminar: Teresa Piacentini, ‘Intercultural Communication in Healthcare’, Glasgow

This week the Sociology subject area hosts its final seminar of the semester. This will be given by our very own Dr. Teresa Piacentini on ‘An Intersectional Approach to Analysing Intercultural Communication in Health Care Settings: Findings from Glasgow’ (abstract below).

The seminar will take place on Wednesday 26th November from 4-5:30pm in room 916, Adam Smith Building, University of Glasgow. A map is available here.

All are welcome to attend and please do feel free to pass on details to anyone else who may be interested.


How do health care providers respond to increased and multidimensional diversification?  What does this mean for effective intercultural communication in health care settings, in both clinical settings and the community?  In this paper I will explore how increased diversity challenges traditional models of communication in health care provision that have largely focused on language as the main barrier to accessing services. In this paper, I empirically engage with theories of intersectionality and super-diversity to ground an analysis of experiences of intercultural communication in interpreter-mediated health care settings in Glasgow. Since the 1990s, the city has experienced unanticipated demographic shifts due to the wider context of rapidly increasing intra-European mobility, an increasing number of migrants who are permanently or temporarily settled in the Scotland, and that the city is the primary UK dispersal area for asylum seekers outside of London.  This diversity is revealed not just in terms of more ethnicities but in other factors and multiple variables of difference in the immigration status, age, education, socio-economic background, and of course language of new migrants, all of which present a number of challenges to the practices and experiences of health-care delivery in intercultural and multi-lingual contexts.  Although a super-diversity perspective is relatively novel in health research, multiple factors such as language, ethnicity, age, class and gender co-condition health and integration outcomes are well-evidenced.  Presenting different perspectives from health care practitioners, interpreters and service users, I aim to firstly explore the value of the super-diversity perspective to this study, and secondly move beyond a simplistic focus on language barriers to unpack the ways in which health outcomes are co-conditioned by intersecting migratory, ethnicity and socio-demographic variables.

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