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Law J.,Open University Milton Keynes | Moser I.,Diakonhjemmet University College
Science Technology and Human Values | Year: 2012

This article asks how contexts are made in science as well as in social science, and how the making of contexts relates to political agency and intervention. To explore these issues, it traces contexting for foot-and-mouth disease and the strategies used to control the epidemic in the United Kingdom in 2001. It argues that to depict the world is to assemble contexts and to hold them together in a mode that may be descriptive, explanatory, or predictive. In developing this argument, it explores how contexts are assembled in a series of different descriptive and explanatory narratives in epidemiology, policy, critical social science, and (feminist) social studies of science. © The Author(s). Source


Asdal K.,University of Oslo | Moser I.,Diakonhjemmet University College
Science Technology and Human Values | Year: 2012

What is context and how to deal with it? The context issue has been a key concern in Science and Technology Studies (STS). This is linked to the understanding that science is culture. But how? The irreductionist program from the early eighties sought to solve the problem by doing away with context altogether-for the benefit of worlds in the making. This special issue takes its points of departure in this irreductionist program, its source of inspirations, as well as its reworkings. The aim is not to solve the context problem but rather to experiment with context and what we label contexting. © The Author(s). Source


Moser I.,Diakonhjemmet University College
Science Technology and Human Values | Year: 2011

It is often assumed that it was the alliance between patient associations and neuroscience, which originally made dementia a matter for intervention. In parallel ways, science and technology studies (STS) often attributes the power to define and act upon matters of life to biomedicine and science. The concern here is that the science centrism of STS contributes to the dominance of science and biomedicine by granting these analytical privileges. As a result, alternative modes of acting, for instance in care, are disarticulated and made absent. This article mobilizes the sensibilities of anthropology to difference and draws upon excerpts of data from fieldwork in dementia care to show this and argue that there are different practices that act upon life and its limits; that these enact different versions of life and dementia; and that they matter because they shape how people are cared for and live and die with dementia. © The Author(s) 2011. Source


Fyrand L.,Diakonhjemmet University College
Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research | Year: 2010

Many studies have demonstrated that social relationships confer mental health benefits. This paper aims to identify whether and how reciprocity in social relationships predicts or is associated with mental health benefits as well as with continuity in elderly people's social relationships. The studies reviewed in this paper show that, among elders, being in a balanced or underbenefited reciprocal position predicts better mental health and life quality than being in an overbenefited position. Throughout the course of life, reciprocity evens out present and earlier reciprocal imbalances, securing continuity in close relationships-particularly between spouses and between elderly parents and adult children. In friendships, securing continuity seems to be based on the maintenance of independence based on balanced reciprocal relations, making these relationships more vulnerable. Due to the problems of conceptualization and measurement in the reviewed studies, one should be cautious in stating a final conclusion that the reciprocity norm has a universal positive effect on mental health and continuity in elderly people's relationships. Copyright © 2010 Live Fyrand. Source


Sorbye L.W.,Diakonhjemmet University College
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics | Year: 2011

The aim of this study was to compare unintended weight loss in cancer patients to other elderly. Home care users, aged ≥65 from urban areas at 11 sites in Europe (N= 4010) were assessed with the Resident Assessment Instrument for Home Care. Epidemiological and medical characteristics of clients and service utilization were recorded. A total of 321 (8%) patients had a cancer diagnosis; they were on average 80.4 ± 7.3 years. Socio-demographic, functional and clinical parameters revealed small variations in the two groups. Compared to the non-cancer group, they more frequently suffered from: severe malnutrition (odds ratio = OR = 2.4) unintended weight loss (OR = 2.0), had been hospitalized during the last 6 months (OR = 1.8). Older patients with cancer suffer more frequently from problems associated with nutrition than non-cancer patients. A comprehensive assessment could lead to better management of food and fluid supply based on basic ethical principles. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

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