‘Maintaining Talk’ among taxi drivers: Accomplishing health-protective behaviour in precarious workplaces

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This paper contributes to the body of research on the relationship between language, health (behaviour), and place. Drawing on data from a qualitative study of taxi drivers in Ontario, Canada, it illustrates how talk, a dimension of language, might (re)make and maintain an unconventional, precarious workplace through ameliorating its inherent risks and hazards. It shows how a group of taxi drivers, who work in a large, metropolitan city, and whose workplace comprises physical places such as streets, highways, and taxicabs, and social places characterised by disadvantaged social and economic location, enact different kinds of talk in an effort to protect their health. This finding suggest the need for a broader conceptualisation of health behaviour, and for further research into other occupational groups and/or unconventional workplaces in order to further develop or theorise the concept of talk.

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