IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


'War' as metaphor in the fight against cancer / The language of healthcare | RFTRW: S09E02

26 April 2021

Words mean things. And as recent events have demonstrated, we need to take a closer look at the way they’re used when it comes to our health.

Dr Zsofia Demjen and Dr Talia Isaacs, Research for the Real World podcast

Zsófia Demjén and Talia Isaacs, UCL Centre for Applied Linguistics

Dr Zsófia Demjén and Dr Talia Isaacs join Dr Sam Sims to talk about their research examining key issues and concerns in healthcare communication. You may have noticed particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic the use of military-style words - the frontline, battlegrounds, arsenal - Dr Demjén and Dr Isaacs’ work on the way language is used by cancer patients and the community at large speaks loudly here.

We hear about the use of war metaphor in the context of cancer and how patients share their experiences. Is it actually empowering? As the race to find innovative forms of treatment and cures continue, we also consider the relevance of language in documents when it comes to patients providing consent in research. What are the implications?

Listen to the podcast

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You can also read the podcast episode transcript here.