Silent subjects, loud diseases: enactment of personhood in intensive care

Koksvik, G. H. (2016) Silent subjects, loud diseases: enactment of personhood in intensive care. Health, 20(2), pp. 127-142. (doi: 10.1177/1363459314567792) (PMID:25627696)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


The topic of this article is personhood in the case of verbally inexpressive, typically unconscious patients or patients with a low level of lucidity. My aim is to show how personhood is done and undone in a close-knit network of personnel, patients, disease, technology, and treatment, borrowing the concept of enactment as developed by Annemarie Mol. The empirical data are based on grounded ethnographic fieldwork conducted in three separate intensive care units in three European countries: Spain, Norway, and France in the spring of 2014. Four weeks were spent at each site. The method used was participant observations and semi-structured interviews with 24 intensive care unit staff members (9 doctors, 12 nurses, and 3 nurses’ aides).

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Koksvik, Dr Gitte
Authors: Koksvik, G. H.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social & Environmental Sustainability
Journal Name:Health
ISSN (Online):1461-7196
Published Online:26 January 2015

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record