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Institute of Advanced Study

Humanising Practice: Everyday Life Practices & Human Dignity in the Professions

‘Humanising Practice', is a deliberately ambiguous title, acknowledging that while professional practice can be a humanising activity, it often stands in need of humanisation itself. Humanising practice is an intervention that is compassionate and respects peoples' dignity. Yet while an injunction to treat service users with dignity is embedded in the ethical codes of most professions, dehumanising influences regularly impact upon the daily routines, institutional structures (including the built environment) and everyday life practices of many professions (health and medicine, social work, law and education).

Each of these professions has been reassessing the role of the practitioner not least because client or patient groups are becoming used to consumer choice, and are increasingly skilled in accessing and utilising the information resources that are just a click away. Additionally, however, there is growing recognition that although students may be educated in ‘humane' professional practice, this may be trained out of them as they negotiate policies, management goals, and structures that are out of tune with this educational ideal.

This seminar series aims to produce innovative, interdisciplinary thinking on the education of future professionals by bringing together professionals, educationalists and others, to engage in discussions about the meaning of the term practice and its realisation in ‘everyday life practices' in a range of policy areas. Discussions will focus on what humanising means in professional practice, on the character of humanising process, and on the outcome of truly humanising services. The series will conclude with an interdisciplinary workshop in Durham organised in conjunction with the Association for Medical Humanities Conference.

These seminars are free and open to all

For more information please contact Professor Lena Dominelli or Dr Jane Macnaughton

23 October 2008, 6.15pm, Room 231, Elvet Riverside
Professor Cecil Helman (Brunel University)
Rehumanising Medicine
6 November 2008, 6.15pm, Room 231, Elvet Riverside
Professor Jill Gordon (University of Sydney)
Humanising Practice, humanising practioners
4 December 2008, 6.15pm, Room 231, Elvet Riverside
Professor Alan France (Loughborough University)
Constructing Respect: Citizenship, Responsibility and the Demonisation of Youth
29 January 2009, 6.15pm, Room 231, Elvet Riverside
Professor Darja Zaviršek (Ljubljana University)
Humanising disability: discourses on disability in Eastern Europe
19 February 2009, 6.15pm, Room 231, Elvet Riverside
Professor Abye Tasse (Addis Ababa University)
Humanising ‘the other': immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees
5 March 2009, 6.15pm, Room 231, Elvet Riverside
Professor Wil Gesler (University of North Carolina)
Humanising hospital design
30 April 2009, 6.15pm, Room 231, Elvet Riverside
Professor Stephen Ackroyd (Lancaster University)
Why having a job means you can't have a life
21 May 2009, 6.15pm, Room 231, Elvet Riverside
Professor Kanchana Ruwanpura (Southampton University)
Temporality of disasters: the politics of women's livelihoods ‘after' the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka