Health care centres recieve patients whose symptoms do not have a medical explanation. How should these patients be treated? This thesis looks at how culture, class and the body are expressed and percieved at health care centres. The aim is to find new ways of understand what happens in the meeting between staff and their patients.
Ingrid Fioretos, Division of Ethnology
Susanne Lundin, Division of Ethnology
Markus Idvall, Division of Ethnology
Dissertation year: 2009
Department: Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences
Patients seek relief from pain, worry and fear at health care centres. The symptoms they display are often diffuse and it is difficult for health care centre staff to find a medical explanation for their problems. Through following the work at a health care centre in Malmö, the staff´s efforts to find possible forms of treatment for these patients are described. The patients are encouraged to take responsibility for their situation, but to take this responsibility in the right way. At the health care centre, patients are trained both to want to live a healthy lifestyle and to choose this path, irrespective of their life situation. The health information that is provided at the health care centre contains moral aspects in the perception of the body and health that build on a long tradition. The health information has an underlaying aim to make the patients realise the importance of living as responsible individuals who decide over themselves, i.e. individuals who are well functioning and employable in today´s neoliberal and globally integrated society. It is clear that the help the patients seek often cannot be obtained at the health care centre. The staff cannot provide the patients with a sense of coherence, a sense of having a place in society, a purpose in life, a job or a home. What the staff can provide is greater knowledge of how the body works and how to live a healthier lifestyle, to which the patients are not always receptive.
Encounters of Exclusion
Content manager: Ingrid Fioretos
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