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Pot and power : the role of the nonhuman in a very human business

Artner, Lucia ; Atzl, Isabel


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URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:26-opus-123553
URL: http://geb.uni-giessen.de/geb/volltexte/2016/12355/

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Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): defecation , object-centered research , nursing history , dirty body work , praxeological approach
Universität Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Institut: International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture
Fachgebiet: Gießener Graduiertenzentrum Kulturwissenschaften
DDC-Sachgruppe: Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie
Dokumentart: Aufsatz
Zeitschrift, Serie: On_Culture : the Open Journal for the Study of Culture ; 2
ISBN / ISSN: 2856008-5
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2016
Publikationsdatum: 30.11.2016
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: The daily care and nursing of people of various ages with disabilities or illnesses con-stitutes historical and contemporary socio-cultural contexts which are said to be ‘hu-man-centered.’ The formation of practices, politics, and the distribution of knowledge within care and nursing has always been deeply intertwined with the very formation of culture and cultures. This is apparent when focusing upon issues of cleanliness in nursing and care, which are considered to be civilized and ‘cultured,’ and includes the way we handle excrement. Notwithstanding, there is a profound lack of understanding of the significance and impact that ‘non-humans,’ such as material objects, had and have in nursing interactions. Based on empirical research on historical and contempo-rary institutional settings of the ‘dirty work’ of nursing (derived from material culture studies, object-centered historical analyses, and multi-sited ethnography), we analyze the complex intermingling of humans and artifacts in the ‘delicate’ endeavor of sup-ported excretion. As we will show, material objects do play a significant role in sup-porting those that are unable to undertake their (delicate) business autonomously. However, they also help to transform the dirty work of supported excretion into an object-controlled mode of action.
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