The chapter discusses the strategies and discursive resources exploited by American female physicians in the 19th century in order to construct their identity and professional persona, and convey of themselves the idea of authoritative and reliable experts in the practice of medicine. The study analyses five self-help manuals written over a time-span of 60 years (1834-1893), women―much more than male doctors― needed to find effective ways to write about themselves and their experience as physicians in order to consolidate their ethos and be accepted as medical practicioners in a male-dominated field as the one of medicine at the time, where even the most prestigious medical schools were hardly accessible to women. The analysis shows that the main ethos-defining traits―shared, though in various degrees, by all the five ‘authoresses’ of the manuals investigated here―are, on the one hand, the marking of distance from traditional medicine, which is often portrayed as being too abstract and based on principles rather than evidence―and, on the other, the emphasis on closeness and commitment towards patients, both in terms of language― a ‘simple’ way of codifying meanings, easily understandable also by lay users, is preferred to specialized, hence possibly gate-keeping, formulations ―and in terms of common grounds and experience that women doctors are expected to share notably with female users, especially concerning topics such as the female body, childbirth, and pregnancy.

The discursive construction of ethos in 19th century self-help medical books by women doctors: an exploration / P. Catenaccio - In: Communicating English in Specialised Domains : A Festschrift for Maurizio Gotti / [a cura di] S. Maci, M. Sala, C. Spinzi. - Prima edizione. - [s.l] : Cambridge Scholar, 2020. - ISBN 9781527542952. - pp. 287-300

The discursive construction of ethos in 19th century self-help medical books by women doctors: an exploration

P. Catenaccio
2020

Abstract

The chapter discusses the strategies and discursive resources exploited by American female physicians in the 19th century in order to construct their identity and professional persona, and convey of themselves the idea of authoritative and reliable experts in the practice of medicine. The study analyses five self-help manuals written over a time-span of 60 years (1834-1893), women―much more than male doctors― needed to find effective ways to write about themselves and their experience as physicians in order to consolidate their ethos and be accepted as medical practicioners in a male-dominated field as the one of medicine at the time, where even the most prestigious medical schools were hardly accessible to women. The analysis shows that the main ethos-defining traits―shared, though in various degrees, by all the five ‘authoresses’ of the manuals investigated here―are, on the one hand, the marking of distance from traditional medicine, which is often portrayed as being too abstract and based on principles rather than evidence―and, on the other, the emphasis on closeness and commitment towards patients, both in terms of language― a ‘simple’ way of codifying meanings, easily understandable also by lay users, is preferred to specialized, hence possibly gate-keeping, formulations ―and in terms of common grounds and experience that women doctors are expected to share notably with female users, especially concerning topics such as the female body, childbirth, and pregnancy.
No
English
Settore L-LIN/12 - Lingua e Traduzione - Lingua Inglese
Capitolo o Saggio
Esperti anonimi
Ricerca applicata
Pubblicazione scientifica
Communicating English in Specialised Domains : A Festschrift for Maurizio Gotti
S. Maci, M. Sala, C. Spinzi
Prima edizione
Cambridge Scholar
2020
287
300
14
9781527542952
Volume a diffusione internazionale
manual
Aderisco
P. Catenaccio
Book Part (author)
reserved
268
The discursive construction of ethos in 19th century self-help medical books by women doctors: an exploration / P. Catenaccio - In: Communicating English in Specialised Domains : A Festschrift for Maurizio Gotti / [a cura di] S. Maci, M. Sala, C. Spinzi. - Prima edizione. - [s.l] : Cambridge Scholar, 2020. - ISBN 9781527542952. - pp. 287-300
info:eu-repo/semantics/bookPart
1
Prodotti della ricerca::03 - Contributo in volume
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/736588
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