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Managing stigma: A relational analysis of wound healing in the UK

Galazka, Anna Milena ORCID: 2018. Managing stigma: A relational analysis of wound healing in the UK. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This research explores the relationship between wound healing clinicians and patients in the context of dirty work. The relationships between people who do dirty work and their clients have hitherto been under-researched and theoretically under0-developed, especially with regards to managing stigma. Therefore, this study mobilises the critical realist notion of the relational subject developed by Pierpaolo Donati and Margaret Archer that frames social relations as objects of carte and consideration in and of themselves. Specifically, this concept is applied to understand how the dynamics of clinician-patient relations help them deal with wound stigma, both personally and professionally. The research draws on observational and interview data from ten-month ethnography of three specialist outpatient wound-healing clinics in the UK, conducted between 2016 and 2017. The retroductive analysis identifies the relational aspects of wounds and dirty work of wound healing. It also recognises the manifold ways in which clinicians and patients operate together within their dirty and stigmatised social context. Finally, it distinguishes between three-clinician-patient relational configurations that differ in terms of their emergent outcomes for the stigma associated with wounds, the relational reflexivity, and relational goods and evils they generate. This study argues that the alleviation of the stigma associated with the dirty work of wound healing and living with wounds is, in and of itself, a special type of relational good produced by clinician-patient relations. This research contributes to social theory and dirty work scholarship by showing that clinician-patient interactions delimited within professional relations can generate relational goods, which, in turn, can help alleviate the wound stigma. Moreover, the critical realist emancipatory agenda that underpins this thesis provides a means through which to explain clinician-patient relations as both avenues towards patient empowerment in wound healing, and mechanisms for developing wound healing into a recognised clinical speciality of “woundology”.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Acceptance
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Uncontrolled Keywords: dirty work, wound healing, wounds, stigma, managing stigma, relational subject, relational good, social relations, clinician-patient relationship, doctor-patient relationship
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 December 2018
Date of Acceptance: 30 September 2018
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2023 02:08

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