The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Care theme

The work of this theme focuses on cultures, spaces and practices of care.


Woman breast feeding
Politics of care

The work of Dr. Power, Mr Lowe and Professor Moon advances understanding about the role of the statutory and voluntary sector in delivering health and social care to persons with mental health issues, adults with disabilities and other populations who may require support to live in the community. This work analyses the spatialities of service provision to inner-city populations, the interplay of mobilities and service consumption, and the interface between family caregiving, the community and voluntary sector and the state across different cultural contexts. It critically examines the notion of ‘care’ itself, in particular its associations with paternalism, dependency, and the objectification of those who receive support and explores how it sits with other forms of achieving social justice such as rights equality and welfare.

The work of Dr. Roe and Ms. Barrett explores the bodily, emotional and cognitive dynamics of caring in various care-work spaces. Work in this vein seeks to understand care in relation to public and expert discourses of what is ‘good care’ for children and animals across different care cultures. Drawing on these two concerns they seek to understand how, when and in what form care-responses are initiated, sustained and ultimately received by the cared; together with how this is managed and disciplined in the care work-place. Ms. Barrett's work interrogates the socio-spatial politics and affective dimensions of unwaged carework as relating to breastfeeding, parenting practice, and within LBGT households. In the auturm of 2014, the group will be joined by Dr Eleanor Wilkinson, whose work includes a large-scale, British Academy-funded research project into single-life in contemporary Britain, providing an overview of what it's like to be single in Britain today.  The findings will add an important dimension to understanding the changing patterns of personal life in contemporary society.

Professor Moon and Mr. Green, in a longstanding collaboration with colleagues in New Zealand, Canada and France, examine the material, institutional, and bureaucratic legacies of the former caring-spaces of psychiatric asylum. With a focus on material spaces, landscapes and built form rather than people, this work engages with concepts from heritage studies, derelict land conversion and the spectral turn to uncover the nuanced contemporary history of the asylum and the asylum idea, revealing the complex after-life of a much-contested space of care.

We draw on methods of documentary, virtual and visual analysis including photo interpretation, ethnography, interviews, textual analysis, discourse analysis, and participant observation. We engage with theoretical work from Foucault, Mol, Fraser, Goffman, Nora, Ahmed and others, and situate our research both in the field of Health Geography as well as in fields of Science Studies, Feminist and Queer Theory, Policy Studies, Historical Cultural Geography and Urban Studies. We endeavour to feed our work back to inform policy in such areas as health and social care service delivery, heritage management and workplace support.




Book Chapters

  • Power, A. (2012). Self-determining options: comparative perspectives in independent living law & policy. In G. Quinn, & C. O'Mahony (Eds.), The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Comparative, Regional and Thematic Perspectives Cambridge, GB: Intersentia.
  • Power, A. (2012). Voluntary care. In W. C. Cockerham, R. Dingwall, & S. R. Quah (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, and Society Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Power, A. (2011). 'Community and voluntary sector' dans la santé: formes alternatives d'engagement. In S. Flueret, & A-C. Hoyez (Eds.), Santé et Géographie: Nouveaux Regards (pp. 197-215). Paris, FR: Economica.
  • Power, A. (2009). A geography of intellectual disabilities. In L. C. Eklund, & A. S. Nyman (Eds.), Learning and Memory Developments and Intellectual Disabilities (pp. 285-294). Hauppauge, US: Nova Science Publishers.
  • Deverteuil, G., & Evans, J. (2009). Landscapes of despair. In T. Brown, S. McLafferty, & G. Moon (Eds.), A Companion to Health and Medical Geography (pp. 278-300). Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Milligan, C., & Power, A. (2009). The changing geography of care. In T. Brown, S. McLafferty, & G. Moon (Eds.), A Companion to Health and Medical Geography (pp. 567-586). London, GB: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Conradson, D., & Moon, G. (2008). On the street: primary health care for difficult to reach populations. In V. A. Crooks, & G. J. Andrews (Eds.), Primary Health Care: People, Practice, Place (pp. 237-257). (Geographies of Health). Farnham, UK: Ashgate.
  • Deverteuil, G., & Andrews, G. (2007). Surviving profoundly unhealthy places: the ambivalent, fragile and absent therapeutic landscapes of the Soviet gulag. In A. Williams (Ed.), Therapeutic Landscapes : Advances and Applications (pp. 273-287). (Ashgate's Geographies of Health series). Farnham, UK: Ashgate.


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