Saturday afternoon in an overburdened A&E

Saturday afternoon in an overburdened A&E

In September 2016, I spent an afternoon in an A&E of a hospital in Bremen in the context of my research on „superdiversity“ and „health“ at the University of Bremen. Thanks to the generous and kind staff, I was allowed to attend mostly the first encounters between nurses  and  patients in the admission room where patients explained what was wrong with them. Since the experience of health and disease are at the same time personal and culturally bound, these encounters revealed the clash between different ideas of what it means to suffer, to be needy and to get help – and the power of institutions to define socially acceptable behaviour and knowledge. At the same time,  I was struck by the increase of health needs in our medicalized society – people show up in the A&E because of a feverish cold or a tick bite. You find a short report on my observations on our project website.