Turning Adolescents Into Analysts of Their Own Discourse: Raising Reflexive Awareness of Everyday Talk to Develop Peer-Based Health Activities
Te Molder, H.F.M.
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Abstract: Adopting principles applied in discursive psychology and translated to suit the practice of participatory health education, we describe in this article the five steps of the discursive action method (DAM). With this method, adolescents are stimulated to explore their own everyday conversations to become consciously aware of how they talk about health issues with their peers. Using detailed accounts of adolescents’ experiences with the method, we present some first indications of the kinds of results this method can achieve. We show that the strength of the method specifically lies in two closely related domains: (a) stimulating adolescents’ attentiveness to interactional problems and strategies as they occur in their own everyday talk, and (b) operating as a catalyst for developing participatory health activities aimed at peers. Keywords: adolescents; communication; discourse analysis; health behavior; health education