Since 2007 we have undertaken a project in the healthcare field in partnership with a charitable foundation (Fondazione San Marcellino ONLUS) concerned with the homeless, especially homeless people of Italian origin. The general idea was that there is a continuity between the communication and interpretation difficulties experienced in monolingual environments and those experienced in plurilingual situations, albeit with different configurations, when there is a lack of common understanding and the assumed co-construction of common understandings breaks down for the idiolect of homeless people. The research questions were the following: is the material translated from Italian into Spanish used by the health services in Genoa effective and adequate? Are multilingual situations between healthcare personnel and migrant patients managed effectively? As to the theoretical framework we based on discourse analysis, and in particular, T. van Dijk (2003; 2012) and the ethnography of communication (Gumperz and Hymes 1972; Hymes 1974; Berruto 1997) since both approaches emphasise the strong connection between language and social structure, which are the subject of a holistic and integrated analysis. To answer our research questions since 2007 until 2012 we carried out some investigative work into the practitioners and mediators operating in the healthcare sector in Genoa, as well as interviewing patients (see www.iberistica.unige.it Ambito Socio Sanitario for the details). Various materials and methods were used in order to triangulate results: a questionnaire, semi structured interviews, focus groups, multiple investigators and participant observation. Regarding information written in languages other than Italian to be given to or displayed to patients (with a focus on Spanish), when analysing the material available, it is easy to see that it is of unsatisfactory quality and, most importantly, is not effective in terms of communication and unsuitable for a pragmatic approach. Moving from the particular of our project to the general, our paper also offers an overall picture of good practices, both at international and national level, that could help us improve our future research projects.
|Titolo:||Languages, cultures and mediation in the healthcare sector in Genoa (with a focus on Spanish and Latin American patients)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||02.01 - Contributo in volume (Capitolo o saggio)|
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