I start a week of teaching on the social determinants of health on Monday with our 1st year physiotherapy students. It's part of a course/module we run at AUT called 'Physiotherapy and Health Priorities' and it looks at applying public health principles to our practice. Social determinants aren't something that physios have spent a lot of time studying in the past, and it's a bit alarming to see how little research is out there that points to a role for the profession. We're not even driving the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff on this issue: we're the people who pick up the patients who have left the ambulance after its already crashed. Clearly this is not a wise or enviable … [Read more...] about Social determinants of health and physiotherapy
From History of Australia, 2014, 11(2) Link to full text here. Abstract This article examines the role of mobility in the operation of modern maritime empires and identifies some of the particular ways in which mobility was constituted as a ‘problem’ in debates over colonisation. After briefly mapping a range of ways in which different forms of mobility underwrote the processes of empire, the article turns to the colony of Otago. It sketches how arguments about the meaning of different types of movement played out in a specific colonial location where tensions over fixity and mobility stood at the heart of struggles over the meaning of both ‘empire’ and ‘community’. … [Read more...] about New article ‘Mobility, empire, colonisation’ by Tony Ballantyne
Because physiotherapy is so grounded in the biomedical sciences, most undergraduate students (and a fair few postgrads) tend to think that critical thinking is about the ability to analyze a research paper. At best this can result in a deep appreciation for the evidence that presently exists for a phenomenon, at worst the students follow a formulaic process to arrive at a score that is as predictable as it is banal. There is, however, another side to critical theory - a world of research and scholarship that these students are rarely, if ever, exposed to - the kinds of thinking that is commonplace in the arts, humanities, philosophy and sociology. I spend quite a lot of time in this … [Read more...] about Being really critical about thinking
Touching moments: phenomenological sociology and the haptic dimension in the lived experience of motor neurone disease Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson and Amanda Pavey Keywords: motor neurone disease; phenomenological sociology; Merleau-Ponty; the senses; touch and the haptic Abstract Currently, there is a relative research lacuna in phenomenological research into the lived experience of motor neurone disease. Based on a sociological research project in the UK, involving 42 participants diagnosed with MND, this article explores the potential of a phenomenological sociology for analysing experiences of this drastically life-limiting neurological disorder. Calls have … [Read more...] about From Sociology of Health and Illness, Volume 36, Issue 6, July 2014
The response to the formation of our Critical Physiotherapy Network has been amazing, and it's made me think about some of the reasons why physiotherapy is now ready for a group like this. 1. Health care is increasingly complex The sheer size and complexity of the health care system is profoundly challenging the old medical model. Writers like Bryan Turner, Simon Williams, Debbie Lupton, Chris Shilling, Nick Fox, Alan Petersen and others have shown that biomedicine has brought about many great achievements, but it has also contributed to the present dysfunction in the health system. As the old system is slowly dismantled (and with it, many of the principles that have underpinned … [Read more...] about 10 reasons why we need a Critical Physiotherapy Network
A few months ago, an English translation of Frédéric Gros's book 'A Philosophy of Walking' came out, which prompted me to think about what walking means to physiotherapists and whether some of the more recent philosophies of walking might help us think about what walking means to us as practitioners, philosophers of movement, and walkers. Walking is a subject that hasn't received a lot of philosophical attention. Like movement, posture and function, they are ideas we, as physiotherapists, claim some ownership over. We certainly teach a lot about these concepts and do a lot of research into aspects of these phenomena, but do we don't really know what we mean when we say physiotherapy is … [Read more...] about 3 books on the philosophy of walking
Today is a momentous day! After some weeks of planning, I am proud to announce the formal arrival of the Critical Physiotherapy Network. For a long time now, I've been thinking about bringing together a group of critical-thinking physiotherapists from around the world who were interested in philosophy, history, cultural studies, sociology, qualitative research and education. A few weeks ago I decided to step down from my role as Head of Physiotherapy at AUT University, and that induced me to think about some of the projects that were lying in wait ready for when I had more time. So I began by contacting half-a-dozen colleagues I knew around the world who were critical … [Read more...] about Critical Physiotherapy Network is born!