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Pastoral power and the promotion of self-care

Jones, L; (2018) Pastoral power and the promotion of self-care. Sociology of Health & Illness , 40 (6) pp. 988-1004. 10.1111/1467-9566.12736. Green open access

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Abstract

In many countries government policy is becoming increasingly reliant on citizens taking greater responsibility for their health and wellbeing and limiting their consumption of public services. In this paper I develop Foucauldian perspectives on the work required to create and maintain responsibilised subjects, focusing on the role of 'pastors' - specialists, experts and therapists who promote desirable subjectivities (Waring and Latif ). Drawing from ethnographic research, I consider how government policies for the promotion of self-care within the English healthcare system not only place increased emphasis on patients taking responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, but also seek to constitute new pastoral subjectivities as responsible for conducting the conduct of patients. I look at efforts to constitute pastoral subjectivities through an assemblage of management knowledge, educational practices and training materials. I argue that efforts to enrol and train pastors are unlikely to accomplish governmental objectives because of the availability of alternative guides for action drawn from professional training, established routines, and forms of social belonging.

Type: Article
Title: Pastoral power and the promotion of self-care
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1467-9566.12736
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12736
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Foucault, expertise, health policy, professions/professionalisation
UCL classification: UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10048143
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