CPT-33306 Communication Strategies in Everyday Life


Studiepunten 6.00

Individual Paper1
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. IM Buizer
WM Versteeg
Lecturer(s)dr. IM Buizer
WM Versteeg
Examiner(s)dr. IM Buizer

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

CPT-12306 Introduction to Strategic Communication or CPT-23804 Introduction to Communication and Innovation Studies.


Starting point for this course is the idea that processes of change presume a thorough insight into people's everyday communication strategies. The course is particularly concerned with the analysis of real-life conversations (Discursive Psychology/Conversation Analysis) and applying these insights to topical communication practices, varying from public debates on healthy food and climate change to online discussions on new (bio)technologies. The focus will be on the different ways in which people influence each other as part of their daily routine as well as on how practitioners can learn from these methods. We look at how credibility is constructed in negotiations and debates, for example by adopting particular identities ('layman' vs. 'expert') or resisting the ascription of (self-)interests. We study how people manage knowledge rights and responsibilities in talk: what makes people being treated as more or less knowledgeable? Expertise may be a contested matter, such as in public debates on vaccination or climate change. We look at when and how scientific knowledge is used to support or challenge an argument, and to what purposes experiential knowledge is put forward. We not only analyse the causes of apparent misunderstandings but also discuss what can be done to facilitate these conversations. Students will be introduced into the world of institutional interaction: online counseling, medical interaction and public engagement meetings between pill designers and patients. We learn how the preferences or presuppositions incorporated in questions may restrict - or broaden - recipients’ scope for saying things in and on their own terms. Finally, we will focus on different ways of using interaction-analytic research in practice. With the so-called Discursive Action Method (DAM) and the Conversation-Analytic Role play Method (CARM) participants can be turned into critical analysts of their own discourse, and be stimulated to design their own change process.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- identify and explain the core theoretical concepts in the field of Discursive Psychology (study of real-life communication strategies);
- analyse everyday communication strategies, for example between 'expert' and 'lay' participants, in a systematic and theoretically grounded way;
- apply these insights to the communication domain so as to help solve communication problems, for example in the fields of nutrition, health and environmental communication;
- assess the merit and value of communication activities according to the insights of Discursive Psychology.


- part of the course is devoted to class teaching during which there will be ample opportunity for interaction;
- the assignment will be done in couples; students are expected to present and discuss their assignment in the last session.


The final grade for the course will be based on a written exam and an assignment. The assignment is to be carried out in couples under supervision of the teacher and concluded with a short paper. The paper counts for 1/3 of the final grade, the exam for the other 2/3. Both components require a 5.0 in order to pass.


Literature will be announced through MyPortal.

Keuze voor: MCHCommunication, Health and Life SciencesMScA: Spec. A - Communication and Innovation5MO