Browse

You are looking at 71 - 80 of 116 items for :

  • Refine by Access: Open Access content x
  • Refine by Content Type: All x
Clear All Modify Search
Open access

Ways of ‘Being With’

Caring for Dying Patients at the Height of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Annelieke Driessen, Erica Borgstrom, and Simon Cohn

Abstract

Palliative care professionals often speak of the importance of forming meaningful relationships with patients and their families. Trust and rapport, usually established over extended periods of time through face-to-face interactions, and a ‘gentle honesty’ regarding end-of-life and death are key aspects of developing a sense of intimacy with people who are approaching the end of their lives. A fundamental feature of this intimacy is conveying a sense of ‘being with’ a patient. However, these ways of working were greatly challenged by the impact of COVID-19. This article explores how intimacy both was and was not established at the height of the pandemic, and it describes the extent to which shared concerns functioned as a new means to create a sense of a common experience.

Open access

Workplace Intimacy

Andrew Dawson and Simone Dennis

Abstract

Amidst massive economic damage tension between the needs to save lives and save jobs has become the basis of a key political fault-line and a matter of daily on-the-ground management during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article we consider four especially salient changes to work-life wrought by the pandemic: (1) new workplace praxes pertaining to matters of touch; (2) erosion and degrading of the quality of erstwhile intimate relations in certain workplaces; (3) changes to senses of belonging and homeliness in workplaces; (4) and, reflecting on the particular type of work that we do, how the pandemic (and pandemic lockdown especially) is impacting our pedagogical and research practices. Throughout we reveal how the intimacies experienced within workplaces are being transformed – not always eroded or degraded, but also sometimes adapted, sustained in new ways (especially via new communications technologies), and even enhanced.

Open access

A World of Touch in a No-Touch Pandemic

Living with Dementia in a Care Facility during COVID-19

Cristina Douglas

Abstract

Touch is essential when living with dementia for communication and remaining connected with the world, and it is also unavoidable when performing body care. Thus, it is impossible to think of living and caring for people with dementia in the absence of touch. Drawing from my ethnographic fieldwork conducted with therapy animals and people living with dementia in Scottish care facilities, in this article I argue that the public health measures taken against the spread of COVID-19 infections need to be reimagined by taking into consideration the role of touch. Furthermore, I try to draw attention to the lessons that we should learn about touch and the role of intimate bodily entanglements in dementia care from the high COVID-19 death tolls amongst British care home residents.

Open access

Zooming in on COVID

The Intimacies of Screens, Homes and Learning Hierarchies

Adam Roth, Niroshnee Ranjan, Grace King, Shamim Homayun, Rebecca Hendershott, and Simone Dennis

Abstract

This article is a result of the way in which the design of a first-year anthropology course attempted to undo stern structural hierarchies between students and teachers. Instead, the participants regarded one another as fellow anthropologists undertaking ethnographic research on the university context. This article examines the intimate relations that came available to participants when the course moved from in-person to Zoom format. Participants moved into homes to document the unfurling COVID-19 crisis, (back) into intimate familial relations. But this was not the only intimacy with which participants had to grapple anthropologically. The lecture materials, too, connected themselves to things and experiences in immediacy as they arrived into homes through laptop screens. The screens themselves offered up new insights into the lives of others – something newly minted anthropologists had to account for as they completed the course.

Open access

Alone Together

Intimacy and Semi-Mobility during Ho Chi Minh City's Lockdown

Van Minh Nguyen

Abstract

In this article, based on my ethnographic experience of Ho Chi Minh City's lockdown, I argue that COVID-19 acted as an accelerator of intimacies, allowing people to negotiate alternative forms of sociality both within and outside the domestic space. On the one hand, by confining people at home it brought to light social and housing inequalities in urban Vietnam. On the other, it forced people to find imaginative ways to cope with social-distancing protocols. Since mobility during lockdown was limited, the normatively private space of the house became an incubator for social life, affording people – even those outside the circle of close friends and relatives – the opportunity to be alone together, sharing their temporary stuckness to challenge normative patterns of intimacy and sexuality.

Open access

Child Protection Social Work in COVID-19

Reflections on Home Visits and Digital Intimacy

Sarah Pink, Harry Ferguson, and Laura Kelly

Abstract

This article brings together digital anthropology and social work scholarship to create an applied anthropology of everyday digital intimacy. Child protection social work involves home visits in the intimate spaces of others, where modes of sensorial and affective engagement combine with professional awareness and standards to constitute sensitive understandings of children's well-being and family relationships. In the COVID-19 pandemic, social work practice has shifted, partly, to distance work where social workers engage digitally with service users in their homes while seeking to constitute similarly effective modes of intimacy and understanding. We bring practice examples from our study of social work and child protection during COVID-19 together with anthropologies of digital intimacy to examine implications for new modes of digital social work practice.

Open access

COVID-19 and the Transformation of Intimate Inter-and Intra-National Relations

Andrew Dawson

Abstract

Based conceptually on Michael Herzfeld's ideas of cultural intimacy and disemia, and empirically on lockdown auto-ethnography, this article considers how erstwhile intimate inter-and intra-national relations have been transformed by COVID-19. Its particular ethnographic focus is Australian–British post-colonial relations and the personal emergence of a hybrid Br-Australian consciousness.

Open access

COVID-19 and Uncertain Intimacy

State–Society Relations in Urban China and Beyond

Jialing Luo

Abstract

The outbreak of COVID-19 has brought new uncertainties to state–society relations in urban China. Arguably, China's containment of the pandemic can largely be attributed to the state's effective, but controversial, governance of society. At the grassroots level of Chinese cities, local state shequ (‘communities’ centred on the Residents’ Committees) have played a vital role in terms of both surveillance and service provision. However, rather than establishing an intimate relationship with civil society as the state intended, the latter's handling of the pandemic resulted in contested views on the extent to which the state should intervene in society. This article engages with the ongoing debate on state–society relations, and argues that in urban China we are now seeing the advance of the state.

Open access

‘Everybody's Always Here with Me!’

Pandemic Proximity and the Lockdown Family

Hannah McNeilly and Koreen M. Reece

Abstract

Social distancing has been the central public health strategy for tackling the coronavirus pandemic worldwide. But the ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order in the United Kingdom and the consequent closure of nurseries and schools also created an unprecedented degree of proximity within households. Based on interviews with mothers of young children in Scotland, this article provides early insight into the ways that mothers manage the forced intimacies of family life under lockdown and the opportunities they create through the innovative management of space and time. The result is a more expansive understanding of the family in contemporary Scotland and a notion of intimacy characterised as much by the necessity of distance and distinction as by proximity and mutuality.

Open access

From Toilet Paper Wars to #ViralKindness?

COVID-19, Solidarity and the Basic Income Debate in Australia

Anne Décobert

Abstract

By examining seemingly contradictory reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic and relating these to the basic income debate in Australia, this article explores the potential that the socio-economic crisis provoked by COVID-19 presents for a transformation of welfare systems. Drawing on ethnographic observation, the article describes the emergence of grassroots forms of solidarity in response to the pandemic. Within the context of the increasing hardship experienced by Australians, ongoing failures of existing welfare systems, and inadequate government responses to COVID-19, the groundswell of solidarity may coalesce with increasing support for a basic income, creating a conjunctural movement that propels radical social transformation.