Ema Hrešanová, Alena Glajchová:
Elderly and Foreign: Vulnerability and Intersectionality in Healthcare [75]

« volume 19, number 2/2018: Intersectional Approach in Social Inequalities Research

Hrešanová, Ema, Alena Glajchová. 2018. „Staré a cizí: Zranitelnost a intersekcionalita ve zdravotní péči.“ Gender a výzkum / Gender and Research 19 (2): 75-101, http://dx.doi.org/10.13060/25706578.2018.19.2.427

This paper seeks to understand what constitutes vulnerability among healthcare users in relations and social interactions with their healthcare providers. While many authors see vulnerability as an intersection of more or less permanent categories, such as gender, sexuality, social class, or ethnicity/race etc., we point to much more subtle and situational forces at play. In particular, we argue that vulnerability results from patients’ situational or contextual in/capability or un/willingness to communicate. We apply an interactional theory, namely a group-centred and relational approach (Choo, Ferree 2010; Giritli-Nygren, Olofsson 2014; McCall 2005) that focuses on particular marginalised groups and studies their relations to dominant groups. We build on ethnographic research with two different groups: (1) elderly patients in a long-term care unit; (2) foreign-born women who received care during their pregnancy and childbirth in Czech healthcare facilities and maternity wards. Our research includes participant observation in hospital settings and ethnographic in-depth and semi-structured interviews with healthcare users as well as providers.

Keywords: Czech healthcare, cognitive barriers to communication, language

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