A. van Hout
- Shining trinkets and unkempt gardens: on the materiality of care
- Sociology of Health and Illness
- Volume | Issue number
- 37 | 8
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The increasing use of telecare will profoundly change nursing care. How to understand these changes is, however, far from clear. This is because (i) studies on telecare seldom consider the situation it replaces, and (ii) current concepts and methods used to study the impact of telecare may not allow us to fully grasp these changes. We suggest that an analysis of the changing materiality of care practices is a suitable way to articulate and reflect on possible concerns. It allows us to compare care practices in the same terms before and after telecare has been introduced. To demonstrate this, we study the materiality of the classical care setting, the nursing house call, to map the situation before telecare is introduced. Building on science and technology studies, we apply four categories as heuristics to analyse materiality in care: signs, dis/enablers (or scripted things), tools and practical arrangements. We leave open the question of how material arrangements could or should be matters of concern in nursing care, and instead argue for studies that give insights into the everyday tinkering with the materiality of care that both nurses and patients need to engage in.
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