F. Morente Mejías
- Pathways to care: how superdiversity shapes the need for navigational assistance
- Sociology of Health and Illness
- Volume | Issue number
- 36 | 8
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The recently developed sociological concept of superdiversity provides a potentially interesting and useful way of developing an understanding of life in contemporary Europe. Here we report on research based on individual narratives about access to health care, as described by a range of people from very different sociocultural backgrounds in four European countries. This article notes the frequent appearance in first-person narratives of the need for navigational assistance in the form of knowledge, cultural competence and orientation that facilitate the identification and use of pathways to health care. Our dataset of 24 semi-structured interviews suggests that, in the context of needing health care, the feeling of being a ‘stranger in a strange land’ is common in people from a wide range of backgrounds. In social settings characterised by transnationalism and cultural heterogeneity, it is important to understand the need for navigational assistance, particularly at times of uncertainty, in the design and delivery of health services. The relationship between the inhabitants of contemporary Europe and the healthcare systems available in the places where they live is dominated by both complexity and contingency - and this is the cultural field in which navigation operates.
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