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Conceptualising ‘Materialities of Care’: making visible mundane material culture in health and social care contexts

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JournalSociology of Health and Illness
DateAccepted/In press - 6 Oct 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 21 Feb 2018
Early online date21/02/18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

‘Materialities of care’ is outlined as a heuristic device for making visible the mundane and often unnoticed aspects of material culture within health and social care contexts, and exploring interrelations between materials and care in practice. Three analytic strands inherent to the concept are delineated: spatialities of care, temporalities of care and practices of care. These interconnecting themes span the papers in this special issue. The papers explore material practice across a range of clinical and non-clinical spaces, including hospitals, hospices, care homes, museums, domestic spaces, and community spaces such as shops and tenement stairwells. The collection addresses fleeting moments of care, as well as choreographed routines that order bodies and materials. Throughout there is a focus on practice, and relations between materials and care as ongoing, emergent and processual. We conclude by reflecting on methodological approaches for examining materialities of care, and offer some thoughts as to how this analytic approach might be applied to future research within the sociology of health and illness.

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