In my research, I explore how people engage in delicate activities in face-to-face interaction and how they manage difficult episodes of communication. I have studied how people complain about mistreatments, how they challenge other people's perspectives, and how they share sensitive personal information. My research contributes to fundamental understandings of how humans communicate, and it also has practical implications for improving communication in health and social care services.
I obtained my PhD in Education at the University of Verona with a dissertation on communication between staff and clients within Therapeutic Communities - rehabilitation programmes for people with mental health issues and/or substance misuse problems. I have done post-doctoral research at the University of Verona and the University of Nottingham in two main areas: dyslexia and communication in end-of-life care.
In my research, I employ conversation analysis to explore how people interact in a variety of settings: support groups, medical consultations, and every day informal interactions. I study how people talk about sensitive matters such as violations of social norms and expectations, and delicate topics such as someone's thoughts and feelings associated with the prospect of dying. How do people negotiate what is a delicate matter in social interaction? What do they accomplish by constructing an event as atypical or out of the ordinary (or vice versa as ordinary and normal)? What does this tell us about how people shape their social worlds in everyday interaction? These are the sorts of questions I address in my research. My research contributes to understandings of social interaction but also has practical implications. I have recently developed training resources to improve professionals' communication with clients in the sector of drug addiction rehabilitation.