Difficulty with detecting : metanarratives and a discourse analysis of general practitioners' talk about domestic violence : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
This research project aims to report and analyse the texts of interviews with doctors as they talk about their experience of detecting domestic violence against women who are their patients. The doctors stories of their experiences are summarised and presented as a metanarrative to provide an understanding of their experiences. A discourse analysis of the transcribed interviews identifies and explores the linguistic resources available to doctors and used in common by them in constituting their experiences, themselves, and their women patients who are victimised by violent male partners. The effects and implications of these resources is discussed. The doctors reported difficulty detecting and dealing with domestic violence as experienced by their women patients. Their accounts support existing research findings. Discourse analysis identifies a discourse of discovery and a discourse of confession realised in the doctors' talk about detection. In the doctors' talk about violence and women who are victimised by their male partners, a liberal humanist discourse, psychological discourses, and discourses of love and commitment were identified The implications of these discourses used together in the context of medical practice are discussed. In co-articulation with medical discourse, these discourses realised by the doctors simultaneously perpetuate the difficulty detecting domestic violence, and make this difficulty comprehensible.