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Affective-Discursive Practice in Online Medical Consultations in China

Emotional and Empathic Acts, Identity Positions, and Power Relations


  • Situate in the context of China which is leading the pack in terms of e-healthcare

  • Focus on the most demanding issue for studying doctor-patient communication-affective practice

  • Address the key challenges faced by health experts—coping with patients’ emotional talk through empathic responses

Part of the book series: The Humanities in Asia (HIA, volume 11)

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Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
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About this book

This book provides readers with the latest research on the affective aspect of online interactions between doctors and e-patients in the context of China from a poststructuralist discourse analysis perspective. At the heart of this book is the presentation of four chapters which address (1) indirect negative emotional acts by e-patients and empathic acts by doctors (constituting “affective practice”), (2) the interactional discursive features involved in the affective practice, (3) discursive positions of e-patients and doctors within the affective practice context, and (4) power relations that are reflected in the positionings. This book sheds light on the importance of examining the affective facet of medical consultation, when it comes to identifying non-traditional positions and power relations in doctor-patient communication. It also provides the implication that e-healthcare platforms, especially those with an e-commercialized model for healthcare services, have potential to produce a type of neo-liberal discourse—the e-commercialized medical consultation discourse—in which patients and caregivers, who are acknowledged as the less powerful group in the traditional healthcare activities, are empowered and privileged.


  • Online medical consultation
  • E-healthcare
  • Doctor-patient online communication
  • Discourse analysis
  • Affective practice
  • Emotional expression
  • Empathic response
  • Discursive position
  • Power relations
  • China

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beijing Information Science and Technology University, Beijing, China

    Yu Zhang

About the author

Yu ZHANG got her PhD degree from the Department of English at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2020. For her PhD degree, she studied discourse analysis in the context of online health communication. She currently holds a teaching position in the School of Foreign Studies at Beijing Information Science and Technology University. Her work has been published as articles in academic journals such as Health Communication, Applied Linguistics Review, Discourse and Communication, Chinese Journal of Communication, Communication & Medicine, and Journal of Foreign Languages (“外国语”). Her major research interest is discourse studies in the context of health communication.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
This title has not yet been released. You will be able to pre-order it soon.