24th May 2012 Coordination and Timing in Roofing Work

At a recent pho­to­graphic exhi­bi­tion on the theme of ‘Move­ment’ (in Limo­ges, April 2012), I was struck by this series of four images taken by Guy Bayles. The images cap­ture the embod­ied com­pe­tence, coor­di­na­tion and sense of tim­ing of the roofers as one throws a tile to another. The coor­di­na­tion of the two roofers is…

17th May 2012 You’re Screwed

There’s a lot of con­struc­tion work gone into the high-tech sport venues that are now lit­ter­ing the coun­try. Some­times it’s the small­est things that mat­ter. These screws are some of the ‘miss­ing masses’, as mun­dane and as impor­tant as can be (Latour, 1992). (source: cyclingweekly.co.uk via Ewen Speed) On your hands and knees: your mate lines…

11th May 2012 The Cost Of Bleeping

Since read­ing Ewen Speed’s piece about work­ing con­tracts in the NHS, I’ve been think­ing more about the expe­ri­ence of health care work. I’ve just read a fas­ci­nat­ing and per­plex­ing tale of the con­tin­gen­cies of work in health­care. The first time I saw a pager, in 1994, I though it was a pretty clever device. You…

1st May 2012 Ever Get The Feeling You’re Being ‘TUPE’d’?

The 2012 Health and Social Care Act (HSC) marks the de-regulation of pri­mary health care in Eng­land. Much of the crit­i­cal response to the leg­is­la­tion has been con­cerned with the impli­ca­tions for patients: what will the reforms mean for the broad polit­i­cal com­mit­ment to pro­vid­ing free uni­ver­sal health­care? The prog­no­sis for the NHS is not…