In this paper, I use nexus analysis framework to examine how one quadriplegic man from Oman, named Yahya, directs the course of his present (and his future) through anticipatory discourse. In particular, I analyze conversations between Yahya and me regarding his future as they relate to actions I undertake on his behalf to effect a social change: to secure Yahya, an unmarried man, a permit to hire his own resident nurse/assistant (permits for such hirings are reserved only for married couples in Oman). I demonstrate how Yahya influences me to follow his agenda through constructing a helpless identity in narrative discourse. Reciprocally, I suggest that through the actions Yahya's caregivers subsequently undertake, they succeed in giving him a sense of control over an important aspect of his life (being able to hire his own assistant), and I demonstrate how Yahya subsequently displays agentivity in his narratives. I thus illustrate the interconnectedness of Yahya's anticipatory discourse and his caregivers' (macro-level) actions that cause societal change, as well as the interconnectedness of these actions and the kinds of selves Yahya constructs through anticipatory discourse in private (micro-level) interactions.
- Anticipatory discourse
- Hypothetical future-oriented narratives
- Local and global aspects of talk
- Social change
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health