Anxious hope: life and death in hospital ethnography

Debbi Long (RMIT University)
Narelle Warren (Monash University)
Chancellery Building, A1-014
Session slots:

Short abstract:

As places of high drama and everyday embodiment, hospitals are sites of both the sacred and profane, where life-and-death are intimately intertwined. This panel presents contributions on death-and-life from hospital ethnographers.

Long abstract:

Hospitals are places of life, death and the everyday: soaring hope, deep hopelessness, enforced routine, heartfelt compassion, and impersonal managerialism. Hospital ethnography documents intimate moments of embodiment, formalised procedures and protocols, biomedical rituals, and deeply complex human, technological, material, spatial and temporal relationships. This panel presents papers from hospital ethnographers on the ordinariness and/or the extraordinariness of death-and-life in hospital environments.