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Vulnerability and the Politics of CareTransdisciplinary Dialogues$
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Victoria Browne, Jason Danely, and Doerthe Rosenow

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266830

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266830.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

The Hopeless Hopeful Time of Caring

The Hopeless Hopeful Time of Caring

(p.248) Response The Hopeless Hopeful Time of Caring
Vulnerability and the Politics of Care

Tiffany Page

British Academy

IN THESE TWO chapters we are asked to consider: How does the enacting of care, as a response to the wounding, injury, sickness, and fragility of others, generate new forms of vulnerability? Why and how does care fall short, even in environments where there is an expectation that one receives the attention needed to enable care to be provisioned and performed? While there has been considerable scholarship of late focused on what states and conditions of vulnerability do to ourselves and others, these chapters direct us towards what the experience of vulnerability might require of others, when the capacity to care, whether human or institutional, is expected but not provided, or is stretched to its limit. This situation is described through accounts of healthcare and the ensuing anticipations and failings of people, systems, and infrastructure. Asking how we care, and how we might keep caring while existing in states and systems of exhaustion, sparks a conversation about responses to the experience and witnessing of vulnerability where ethics is framed as an obligation to ‘do something’, even when that doing something might involve more of the same: maintenance, waiting, inaction as a form of activity, or where caring for others might in fact lead to ‘bad feeling, moments of silence and brittleness’ (...

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