Cultures of caring : healthcare ‘scandals’, inquiries, and the remaking of accountabilities

Goodwin, Dawn Samantha (2018) Cultures of caring : healthcare ‘scandals’, inquiries, and the remaking of accountabilities. Social Studies of Science, 48 (1). pp. 101-124. ISSN 0306-3127

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In the UK, a series of high-profile healthcare ‘scandals’ and subsequent inquiries repeatedly point to the pivotal role culture plays in producing and sustaining healthcare failures. Inquiries are a sociotechnology of accountability that signal a shift in how personal accountabilities of healthcare professionals are being configured. In focusing on problematic organizational cultures, these inquiries acknowledge, make visible, and seek to distribute a collective responsibility for healthcare failures. In this article, I examine how the output of one particular inquiry – The Report of the Morecambe Bay Investigation – seeks to make culture visible and accountable. I question what it means to make culture accountable and show how the inquiry report enacts new and old forms of accountability: conventional forms that position actors as individuals, where actions or decisions have distinct boundaries that can be isolated from the ongoing flow of care, and transformative forms that bring into play a remote geographical location, the role of professional ideology, as well as a collective cultural responsibility.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Social Studies of Science
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The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Social Studies of Science, 48 (1), 2018, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2018 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Social Studies of Science page: on SAGE Journals Online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? accountabilitycultureinquiriesprofessional regulationhistory and philosophy of sciencehistorygeneral social sciencessocial sciences(all) ??
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08 Jan 2018 16:50
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 10:35