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Journal of Organizational Ethnography Special issue on ‘Care Values’


Special issue call for papers from Journal of Organizational Ethnography

Guest editors:

Jeppe Oute & Trudy Rudge

This Special Issue reflects a growing cross disciplinary interest in the values of care for the ill, unwell and unhealthy or disabled in industrialized societies, and the intersection of these values with concerns such as organization, politics and economy. This transpires, for example, in recent contributions on meaning making in acute nursing care practices (Lake, 2015) or volunteering and ethnographic conduct (Garthwaite, 2016). Beyond the Journal of Organizational Ethnography, the upcoming stream on ‘organizational ethnographies of health and care’ at the 12th Annual International Ethnography symposium in Manchester from August 29th to September 1st 2017 also encourages participants to develop manuscripts that would fit this Special Issue in Journal of Organisational Ethnography. This, however, is an open call and we invite anyone interested in organisational ethnography on care values to contribute to this issue aiming to draw together papers that demonstrate critical insights assembled from close observations and participation in care settings.

The issue aims to elucidate themes that are often hidden in the intersections between ethnographic, organisational and health care journals, by focusing on the taken-for-granted values, ideals and ideologies located in the practical realities and care giving and receiving across a range of contexts. Questions of value lie at the heart of debates about the organization of current welfare systems and the architecture of future societies. Values are embedded in the contemporary calculus of health and social care provision in many different forms: the financial value of contracts for health or social care services; consumerist values and the commercialization of help seekers (Mol, 2008), ethical values located in standards and guidelines which regulate clinical practice (Huniche, 2011), moral values, through which dilemmas and discrepancies are experienced by professionals (Mattingly, 1998; Mattingly, 2014). As these different orders of worth become entangled in day-to-day practice, and in the context of requirement for austerity in health care systems, we need ethnographic work that can bring to light the negotiations, compromises and complexities of everyday practice.

Researchers from social sciences, humanities, health sciences and elsewhere are invited to contribute with papers which explore the diversity of care values whether that be in the context of clinical interactions, patient experience, health service organization, or wider political economies of care. Of particular interest is the dynamic and contested play of values, ideologies, and ethics at work within, for instance, traditional health care practices, education, citizenship, volunteering or professionalism. Submissions of first drafts are due February 1st 2018.

Reference List

Garthwaite, K. (2016). 'The perfect fit? Being both volunteer and ethnographer in a UK foodbank'. Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 5(1), 60-71.
Huniche, L. (2011). Moral landscapes and everyday life in families with Huntington’s disease: Aligning ethnographic description and bioethics. Social Science & Medicine, 72, 1810-1816.
Karp, D. A. (2001). The burden of sympathy: how families cope with mental illness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lake, S. (2015), 'Making meaning of nursing practices in acute care'. Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 4(1), 64-79.
Mattingly, C. (1998). Healing dramas and clinical plots: the narrative structure of experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mattingly, C. (2014). Moral laboratories : family peril and the struggle for a good life. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Mol, A. (2008). The logic of care : health and the problem of patient choice. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.