The Unspoken Voice: Applying John Shotter’s Dialogic Lens to Qualitative Data from People Who have Communication Difficulties

Broomfield, Katherine ORCID: 0000-0001-7510-876X, Sage, Karen, Jones, Georgina L., Judge, Simon and James, Deborah (2023) The Unspoken Voice: Applying John Shotter’s Dialogic Lens to Qualitative Data from People Who have Communication Difficulties. Qualitative Health Research, 33 (1-2). pp. 3-12. doi:10.1177/10497323221139803

13316 Broomfield et al (2023) The unspoken voice.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0.

Download (1MB) | Preview


As speech and language therapists, we explored theories of communication and voice that are familiar to our profession and found them an inadequate basis on which to generate deep and rich analysis of the qualitative data from people who have communication difficulties and who use augmentative and alternative communication. Expanding our conceptual toolkit to include the work of John Shotter allowed us to reconceptualise voice and where it is emergent in dialogue. Reimaging voice will inform clinical and research praxis with people who have communication difficulties as it allows practitioners to attend more closely to the complexity and nuance inherent in interactions with this population. Our proposition is exemplified with excerpts from a single participant who has communication difficulties to illustrate the value of dialogic theory in praxis. This article presents a provocation for the wider academy of qualitative health research; do we have the concepts and tools to develop meaning with people whose lived experiences may also be hard to voice in monologues?

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Augmentative and alternative communication; Qualitative research; Dialogism; Speech and language therapy; Theory
Subjects: R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology > RM695 Physical medicine. physical therapy including massage, exercise, occupational therapy, hydrotherapy, phototherapy, radiotherapy, thermotherapy, electrotherapy
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Health and Social Care
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2023 14:42
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2023 14:57

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.