“What goes without saying comes without saying” Bourdieu

May 2, 2010

No phone has turned up so I am now in the process of getting another one with all the associated issues – and yet it was only a few years ago life was quieter and I lived without one indeed resisted one – so what changed – well interestingly for me it was a crisis that related to a very frightening series of events in an Accident and Emergency Department where I was made to feel exceptionally vulnerable (and yes as you would expect I eventually made a formal complaint). The trust I had in the staff I encountered proved to be misplaced so I suffered a attack on my common belief or doxa as a patient about clinical staff and the way they treat patients, but perhaps this attack as Bourdieu the French philosopher suggests in his use of the word, suggests that as “what goes without saying comes without saying” and is thus symptomatic more of my patient than my professional perspective, I also chose in his terms to petrify the social limits and the sense of my place as a patient in this encounter rather than see what was self evident to my professional doxa that this was a failing organisation (and still is) with failing staff attitudes. What is useful about this concept is that it is part of his conceptual thinking about the relationship between our external and internal worlds which I find so helpful; or to put it in his terms doxa emerges from the the interplay between the objective social world and structure and the subjective world of the individual through the process of habitus which implies the embodiment of the external world into the being of the individual into a set of taken for granted ways of acting in the world which provide both pathways for doing and seeing and ways of not seeing and knowing that which is external to my experience – sound a bit familiar? Yes a set of concepts which relate to the ideas behind Cynefin as a concept in the welsh language with which we are all now familiar. In this example of mine what is of greatest interest in relation to the Snowden Cynefin set of concepts is how long it took me to move from one conceptual set of doxa as a patient into those of my professional role as an academic in healthcare all too familiar with the failings of clinical professionals because of their own habitus in Accident and Emergency but perhaps more of that later …………..

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