Department of Communication

Graduated with PhD 2005

I am a discourse analyst/micro-ethnographer. My work focuses on the study of face-to-face interaction that occurs in institutional settings (especially those situated at the nexus of cultural and medical forces). My current work explores cosmetic surgery, a controversial cultural-medical practice that lies at the junction of medicine, consumerism, and cultural meanings of beauty. The study is an ethnographically-informed discourse analysis of communicative practices at Beautiful You Clinic, a plastic and aesthetic surgery center, and investigates pre- and post-surgery videotaped interactions between plastic surgeons and patients seeking aesthetic surgery (e.g., lipoplasty and mammaplasty) to identify and explain the communication challenges, difficulties, and dilemmas that the participants face.