Hyper Talk: Sampling the Social Construction of ADHD in Everyday Language



This article examines the ways that meanings about the concept Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are socially constructed within the everyday language use of lay persons. The 224 language events referencing ADHD, including media sources, were recorded in journals by student assistants. These data reveal five patterned ways that lay persons appropriate and interpret discourses originating in medical and school communities of practice. Conclusions raise issues about the moral opportunities and responsibilities afforded and occluded by specific discourse practices.