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SEMINAR: TRAVELLING MEMORIES, STS AND STUDIES OF HEALTH CARE (SPEAKERS: STEVE BROWN AND ATTILA BRUNI)
February 6 @ 12:00 - 14:00
Please register to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday, January 31, 2020
Steve Brown: Travelling memories: experiencing time in secure psychiatric care
In this presentation I will describe preliminary findings from a project exploring how service-users draw upon autobiographical memories to understand their recovery trajectory during their detainment on a forensic pathway at a secure psychiatric hospital. Forensic mental health service users have a complex journey from the criminal justice system to the mental health care system. The participants in this study also experienced a geographical separation from their previous community setting. I will focus on two particular issues: the ways in which the social topology of the hospital creates ambiguous relationships to both ’home’ and the ’future communities’ and the manner in which the inherent ’presentism’ of forensic psychiatric care disrupts the capacity to create meaningful relationships between what comes before and after secure care. I will also discuss the informal strategies through which a ’just in time’ relationship to memory is practiced by service users and staff together and the implications this has for the organizational project of adopting a ’recovery focus’.
Attila Bruni: Flirting with objects and technologies, performing organization: STS and studies of organizational practice
Probably due to the spread of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in everyday work and organizational processes, the topic of technologies and sociomaterial relations is at the core of contemporary organization studies. Contemporary organizations, by the way, are not made just of digital technologies, but they entail a whole plethora of objects, technologies and material artifacts, digital and analogical.
Referring to a three-month ethnography in surgical units of a hospital (in Italy), I will rely on a (sensuous) metaphorical concept in order to catch the intimate relationship between organizational actors and their material environment: flirtation. Just as flirtation between people consists of various small signals (glances, smiles, compliments, brief and casual physical contacts), we shall see that actors seek the ‘complicity’ of various materials present in the environment (technologies, objects, architectures) in articulating work practices and remedying possible problems. In this sense, the metaphor of flirtation is intended to direct attention not only to the relational nature of interaction between people and the material world but also, and especially, to the intimacy and, at the same time, transitoriness of that relationship. In giving concreteness to certain relations and in suggesting particular courses of action, objects ‘wink’ at actors, reminding them of both the reciprocal implications of the action and the situated nature of the action and the relation. Finally, the metaphor directs attention to the reciprocal and reflexive relationship that takes place between actors and technological artefacts and, thus, to the empathic, emotive and aesthetic ways in which actors are ‘captured’ and interpellated by the material world.
Steve Brown is professor of Health and Organizational Psychology in the Department of Management, Nottingham Trent University. One of his central research threads is the development of a practice-based approach to the study of remembering in organizational and institutional contexts. This focuses on how memories of specific events and persons are recruited by organizational processes and how this shapes relationships between stakeholders (e.g. patients and doctors; social work professionals and children; carers and elderly clients). Professor Brown has an international reputation for his contribution to contemporary theorising in management and organization studies, especially in relation to the application of process philosophy.
Attila Bruni is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology and Social Research of the Trento University, where he teaches Sociology of Technological Phenomena and Sociology of Organizations. He has been President of the Italian Society for Science and Technology Studies between 2010 and 2013, and member of the Council of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology since 2010. His research interests regard particularly the intersection of technological phenomena, work and organizing practices, especially in the field of healthcare.
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