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"Caring for insiderness": Phenomenologically informed insights that can guide practice

Journal article
Authors L. Todres
K. T. Galvin
Karin Dahlberg
Published in International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
Volume 9
Pages Article Number: 21421
ISSN 1748-2623
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages Article Number: 21421
Language en
Keywords Caring, person centred, phenomenology, lifeworld, humanization, individualized care, reflective, professional carers, experiences
Subject categories Community medicine


Understanding the "insider" perspective has been a pivotal strength of qualitative research. Further than this, within the more applied fields in which the human activity of "caring" takes place, such understanding of "what it is like" for people from within their lifeworlds has also been acknowledged as the foundational starting point in order for "care" to be caring. But we believe that more attention needs to be paid to this foundational generic phenomenon: what it means to understand the "insiderness" of another, but more importantly, how to act on this in caring ways. We call this human phenomenon "caring for insiderness." Drawing on existing phenomenological studies of marginal caring situations at the limits of caring capability, and through a process of phenomenologically oriented reflection, we interrogated some existential themes implicit in these publications that could lead to deeper insights for both theoretical and applied purposes. The paper provides direction for practices of caring by highlighting some dangers as well as some remedies along this path.

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