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‘Now that’s fair dinkum academic debate, but this affects real people’s lives’: Managing stake, categorisation and accountability in a ‘medico-academic debate’

Williams, A., Donaghue, N. and Rapley, M. (2006) ‘Now that’s fair dinkum academic debate, but this affects real people’s lives’: Managing stake, categorisation and accountability in a ‘medico-academic debate’. In: 35th Annual Meeting of the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists (SASP), 20-23 April 2006, Canberra, Australia.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00049530600940015
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Abstract

In recent years increasing media attention has highlighted the possibility that antidepressants may cause many disturbing side effects, including suicide. However, coverage of these issues has been criticised as negatively effecting those suffering from depression. This paper investigates how it is that raising concerns about antidepressant medications is viewed as detrimental when the drug may potentially be causing these same people harm. Employing the methods of discursive psychology, this study examines the construction of arguments surrounding this issue via the analysis of a public debate in which the potential side effects of SSRIs were the topic of concern. I demonstrate how one speaker manages issues of stake and deploys rhetorically self-sufficient arguments, to construct a reasonable case for the provision of warnings, while the other speaker’s strategic use of categories and ‘commonsense’ arguments works to construct the issue of side effects as a contentious and illegitimate concern. The arguments employed by both opponents are discussed in terms of their rhetorical power and social consequences.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology
Publisher: The Australian Psychological Association
Copyright: The Author
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/22518
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