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Type: Conference item
Title: Caring at the thresholds of knowing: extra-ordinary experiences in aged care facility
Author: Zhang, A.
Citation: Moral Horizons Australian Anthropological Society Conference 2015 Programme, 2015 / pp.115
Publisher: Australian Anthropological Society
Issue Date: 2015
Conference Name: Australian Anthropological Society Conference 2015 (01 Dec 2015 - 04 Dec 2015 : Melbourne, Victoria)
Statement of
Angela Zhang
Abstract: Boundaries are fundamental to human existence. Bounded by individual bodies, the experiences of both oneself and the others are limited by embodied perspectives. The intersubjective mutual understanding is characteristic of reciprocity of viewpoints. It is achieved in intimate interactions between bodies transgressing individual boundaries with the acknowledgement of another body as like our own. However, there exist limits of taking another body’s point of view in the exceptional circumstances where the other bodies are dramatically different from ours. Residential aged care is such a setting. The most vulnerable residents live with severely limited abilities of constructing and representing a truthful mental reality of their selves and the external world. This paper discusses the extra-ordinary experiences of residents and staff in care facilities. The thresholds of knowing are daily encountered and mediated in their endeavor of seeking mutual understanding and meaningful representation. While the experiential limits are often traversed in care activities characteristic of merging bodies, such transgression both mediates the institutionally imposed thresholds and precipitates the crisis of control. The moments of transgression instigates transitions between persons and categories and makes meaning for the caring and the cared. This paper is based on the author’s 12-month fieldwork in two care facilities as part of an ethnographic study on the residents’ lived experiences. To rethink anthropological understanding of the extra-ordinary experiences in the terrains of phenomenal uncertainty, this paper offers both insights and empirical materials.
Rights: Copyright status unknown
RMID: 0030046227
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Appears in Collections:Asian Studies publications

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