Embodied Spatial Practices and the Power to Care

Monday, 16 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Elise PARADIS, University of Toronto, Canada
Myles LESLIE, University of Calgary, Canada
Warren LIEW, National Institute of Education, Singapore
Drawing on an ethnographic study of teamwork in Critical Care Units (CCUs), this chapter applies Henri Lefebvre’s (1991 [1974]) theoretical insights to an analysis of clinicians’ and patients’ embodied spatial practices. Lefebvre’s framework draws attention to the political role of bodies in the production of conceived, lived, and perceived spaces. A narrative analysis of three ethnographic vignettes—“The Fight,” “The Carnival” and “The Plan”—explores how embodied spatial practices manifest and contest power relationships among nurses, physicians, and patients in the CCU. Attention to embodied spatial practices can illuminate the complexities of healthcare delivery, making conformity and resistance to interprofessional and care hierarchies visible. The social orderings of bodies in space is consequential; to see it is the first step in redressing them.