EASA, 2010: EASA2010: Crisis and imagination

Maynooth, 24/08/2010 – 27/08/2010

(W070)

The right to health: issues of citizenship, power and governance

Location Callan CS1
Date and Start Time 27 Aug, 2010 at 11:30

Convenors

Ilka Thiessen (Vancouver Island University) email
Italo Pardo (University of Kent) email
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Long Abstract

Social inequalities amongst citizens and between citizens and non-citizens reveal themselves in the bodies of people.  People might be passive players in the altering of their health outcomes, but active in how they negotiate the inequalities they experience. Difference and identity has been at the forefront of explaining the process of marginalisation, specifically pointing out some of the negative consequences of low levels of autonomy within marginalized groups making a critical difference to health.

The panel will discuss the debates on citizenship and its legal and conceptual framework provided by the different ethnographic sites, that provide citizens right to equal access to health but not to the social determinants to health. Social determinants of health include: quality education, respect for social and cultural diversity, respect for gender orientation, equality, no experience of discrimination, safe and secure housing, jobs, adequate income support, social and addictions services, amongst other similar determinants. This review will highlight some of the challenging academic practical questions that have been raised regarding current understandings of health, bodies, identities, power and marginalization.

The panel will argue that a major transformation in cultural self-preservation will not be dealing with the lofty issue of identity but with establishing the equal access to the social determinants of health as a citizen right.

This workshop is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

Canada's multiculturalism and its health implications for Indigenous Peoples: the case of British Columbia

Author: Ilka Thiessen (Vancouver Island University)  email
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Long Abstract

The state of healthcare of Canada's Indigenous Peoples is of great controversy and misinformation in Canada. It is a fact that Canadian Indigenous People are living in much poorer health than the rest of the Canadian population. Charges even have been made of deliberate legal and political indifference, neglect, and even genocide against the federal government and the larger Canadian society by Aboriginal groups. However, the legal and political landscape of Canada shows strong evidence that Aboriginal health issues are being addressed through an extensive network of health facilities for aboriginal people. How can this discrepancy in perception be explained? What are the practical questions that have been raised regarding current understandings of health, bodies, identities, power and marginalization? The question that my paper will ask is, how can the equal access to the social determinants of health as a social right be established.

Dangerous governance: second class citizens and the progressive jeopardy to public health in south Italy

Author: Italo Pardo (University of Kent)  email
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Long Abstract

This paper investigates complex ramifications of irresponsible and corrupt governance, focusing on a long-drawn combination of irresponsible or incompetent policies, corrupt deals, bureaucratic incompetence, financial mismanagement, political self-interest and ideological slant that informs the treatment of a large proportion of the local population as second class citizens. Such a combination has produced a very serious jeopardy to public health, thus undermining a basic right of citizenship. It has engendered what has become known across the world as the ‘rubbish crisis’ in the Naples Region, whereby ordinary people have been forced to live, and die, among huge festering mounds of uncollected rubbish. The discussion builds towards the argument that in democracy claims of good government must be underpinned; day in day out, underpinned by observably responsible and efficient action and that when citizens’ health is at stake such a requirement of democratic governance becomes an absolute priority.

When the state fails: mobilization of social networks, systems of exchange and access to health care in Albania

Author: Giuliana B. Prato (University of Kent)  email
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Long Abstract

Following the collapse of Communism in 1991, Albanians have endeavoured to build a social and democratic state that guarantees fundamental human rights and freedoms, such as the equal right for all citizens to health care provided by the state (Albanian Constitution, Art. 55). However, such endeavour appears to be weakened by inefficient infrastructures and services, and by the approach of members of the medical profession towards different sections of the population. This paper looks at how different Albanians are coping with the inadequacy of the public health service, relying on different systems of exchange. In particular, a traditional system of exchange, based on balanced reciprocity, and a utilitarian form of exchange, which presents itself as a form of negative reciprocity. The analysis is cast in the context of the relationship between citizens and the state, ultimately addressing the impact that such “informal” exchanges have on governance in Albania.

Biological citizenship, medicalization and other forms of care: the case of Spanish coeliac associations

Author: Ana Toledo (Fundación Canaria de Investigación Sanitaria (FUNCANIS))  email
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Long Abstract

Coeliac associations are part of the new "biological" forms of citizenship since their project departs in the sense that it is required to have some biological suppositions (e.g. a diagnosis) to be included on them. In this sense, they take part, together with other many patients associations, in the construction of the conceptions of what means to be a citizen; supporting, as indicates Nikolas Rose, distinctions between current citizens, potentials, problematised and impossible ones.

The citizenship demands in this framework raise new configurations in the context of the medicalization processes of the contemporary society and different forms of care in emergent diseases. This paper will address the theoretical implications of these new forms of sociality through the analysis of the patient associations using secondary materials, as well as autoethnographic work.

Do we have the right to grieve at work?

Author: Marc Antoine Berthod (University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland)  email
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Long Abstract

Each year, about 8% of the active population takes a bereavement leave, from half a day to a week: how do these many persons feel when they return back at their workplace? What kind of initiatives do the human resources services take - or do not take - once they are informed about an employee's grief? How do we talk and communicate about grief within firms? Based on a field research (2007-2009) conducted with 22 medium-sized and big companies in the French-speaking part of Valais, Switzerland, this communication will address these questions, focusing on two major aspects: first, it will describe the place of mourning and loss in professional relationships and work structures; second, it will comment on the discretionary power of the hierarchy regarding death and bereavement and according to the different categories of workers. It eventually aims at debating the 'right' to grieve at the workplace and the necessity to take into consideration death and dying issues in professional relationships.

This workshop is closed to new paper proposals.