Publication details for Dr Hannah BrownBrown, H. (2012). Hospital domestics: Care work in a Kenyan hospital. Space and Culture 15(1): 18-30.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 1206-3312 (print), 1552-8308 (electronic)
- DOI: 10.1177/1206331211426056
- Keywords: Hospital ethnography, Care, Heterotopia, Medical, Familial, Kenya, Luo.
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
In Kenya, as elsewhere in Africa, it is common for caregivers to live alongside patients who are admitted to hospital. Ethnographic material from the wards of a district hospital in western Kenya shows that in this context proper care for patients required the mobilization of the extended family and the care and attention of hospital staff. Caring practices created biomedical and domestic ward spaces, with patients the objects of two divergent models of care, which the author calls “familial” and “biomedical,” aligned to these spaces. Caregivers and hospital staff emphasized the boundary between these models of care to comment on and (re)produce concepts of responsibility and obligation to others and to legitimate restrictions that they placed on the care they gave. The author argues that it is helpful to think about this hospital as an institutional space produced through a composite of mobile spatial practices, including both biomedical and domestic practice.