Accepted paper:

Exploring health "in the wild": Networks of care outside the clinic


Alberto Zanutto (University of Trento)
Francesco Miele (University of Trento)
Attila Bruni (Trento University)
Claudio Coletta (Maynooth University)

Paper short abstract:

Paper long abstract:

Originally built around the cure and treatment of episodic cases, healthcare sector is being reshaped by the need to deal with populations which are increasingly older and affected by chronic conditions. Health management is now redistributed in dispersed networks that cross the boundaries of health institution and extend to the private spaces of the home and the work environment. The traditional health professional's predominance is giving way to new form of shared and empowered patienthood, as the 'so-called' Patient 2.0. This shift from within institutional boundaries to the outside calls ethnographers to explore the mundane arrangements of people engaging with health conditions. It calls ethnographers to the wild. In this paper we shall present three different explorations of health management outside institutional boundaries, in the endeavour to account for the complexities of care networks. The first case, the clinic in the wild, takes into exam the issue of health education in a diabetes summer camp emphasizing the formation of a shared awareness of diabetes among young patients and volunteers. The second, medication management at home, shows the distribution of expertise and work among physicians, older patients and caregivers, focusing on their conflicts and adoption dynamics. The third, following traces of articulation work, brings to the fore the invisible activities of personal health information management and the silent voices of material arrangements. Building on the cases, we shall conclude our work discussing the methodological challenges and implications of exploring health management out there in the wild, crossing the comfortable institutional boundaries.

panel D1
Technologies of care and participation: Shifting the distribution of expertise and responsibilities