IMH Lunchtime Seminar - Professor Justin Waring

Teaching and Learning Building - Room 119
Monday 9 March 2020 (13:00-14:00)

Please contact if you have any questions at all.


We are pleased to invite you to the next instalment of our IMH Lunchtime Seminar Series on Monday 9 March 2020 led by Professor Justin Waring.

Justin Waring is Professor of Medical Sociology and Healthcare Organisation at the Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham. His research deals with the changing organisation and management of healthcare systems, and public services more broadly.

His primary interest is to understand how new organisational forms and processes interact with institutionalised professional practices, cultures and identities; and how such institutional influences can both stimulate or stymie reform. He is interested in the application of social theory to different social, cultural and organisational contexts, as a means of both explaining social phenomena and extending theoretical rigour. The conceptual and theoretical foundations of his work involves making connections between medical and organisational sociology, sociology of the professions and public services management. He specialises in the use of ethnographic and mixed method research techniques. 

Talk title: Health States of Exception: unsafe non-care and the (inadvertent) production of ‘bare life’ in complex care transitions

Abstract: This paper draws on the work of Giorgio Agamben to understand how the social organisation of care transitions can reduce people to their ‘bare’ life thereby making harmful and degrading treatment seemingly legitimate. The findings of a two-year ethnographic study show how some people experience hospital discharge as undignified, inhumane and unsafe process, expressed through their lack of involvement in care planning, delayed discharge from hospital, and poorly coordinated care. Our analysis explores how these experiences stem from the way patients are constituted as ‘unknown’ and ‘ineligible’ subjects and, in turn, how professionals become ‘not responsible’ for their care. In effect the person is reduce to their ‘bare’ life with limited value within the care system. We suggest the social production of ‘bare life’ is an inadvertent consequence of reconciling and aligning multiple disciplines within a complex care system.

Drinks and refreshments will be provided and all welcome to attend.

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