To be amoved or not: on involved versus involved styles communation

Ann-Margreth E. Olsson

Forskningsoutput: Övriga bidrag




This thesis is about a systemic action research project regarding the new role in Sweden of safety delegates to elderly people. It studies how the supervision of the care of elderly persons was developed in one of the County Administrations Boards in Sweden - the board of Scania. In the project, two different styles of addressingelderlyelderlyelderlyoldpersons and others when seeking information from them were studied. These two styles were also studied in relation to addressing care-givers and performing inspections. We can call these two styles: ‘involved’ and ‘uninvolved’ forms of communication. The thesis emphasizes how these two styles open up different opportunities for response, and how this influences delegates in their commission in their attempts to give a better service in the care oftheelderly.


The distinction between involved and uninvolved styles of address, hinges on the degree of the questioner’s or actor’s spontaneous responsiveness to the bodily expressed effects of their questioning/communication on the listener, i.e., the degree to which questioners/speakers show in their responsiveness how their listener’s reactions ‘move’ them – or as I prefer,nameit,  using an old English word, ‘amove’ [1] them. When ‘amovement’  happens, it is not just a matter of all concerned feeling enlivened, feeling ‘in touch with’ life, but of all concerned sharing in a ‘living movement’ together. It is from within such an ‘amovement’ that one can be ‘amoved’ by another’s words over a ‘scenic landscape’ of human places to go… being ‘amoved’ together is like dancing together in a joint action that generates a ‘sense’ of ‘where and how to go on’.


  • In uninvolved (monological) styles of talk the listenerpersonremains an object at a distance. Uninvolved questioning requires listeners to answer in the questioner’s terms.


  • In involved (dialogical) communication the participants are ‘amoved’ by each other’s responsiveness. The questioning is up-close close and personal, andworkingworks, so to speak, in terms of ‘open’ questions to ‘invite’ listeners to answer in their own terms.


The analysis in the thesis consistsofinmaking connections between important concepts in the literature and problematic events in the experienced social work. By a process of shifting in a ‘back and forth manner’ between crucial concepts in the literature and striking events in interpersonal interaction, I show how social workers’develop a “reflexive awareness” that aids them in providing aworksbetter service to the elderly.


[1]amove — definition in Brainy Dictionary (2004). Brainy Dictionary.


t.) To remove, as a person or thing, from a position.(v. t.) To dismiss from an office or station.(v. t. & i.) To move or be moved; to excite.The third alternative is in use in this thesis.


FörlagUniv. of Luton
StatusPublicerad - 2004
Externt publiceradJa

Nationell ämneskategori

  • Samhällsvetenskap (5)


  • dilaog
  • involverande och icke-involverande kommunikation
  • makt
  • postionering
  • responsivitet
  • äldreomsorg


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