The atmosphere of the ward: Attunements and attachments of everyday life for patients on a medium-secure forensic psychiatric unit

Journal article


Reavey, P (2019). The atmosphere of the ward: Attunements and attachments of everyday life for patients on a medium-secure forensic psychiatric unit. The Sociological Review.
AuthorsReavey, P
Abstract

The climate or atmosphere of a ward in secure psychiatric care is typically studied by examining the relationship between social and environmental factors. However the experiences of patients are irreducible to a set of discrete dimensions or factors. Drawing on recent work in affect theory and architectural studies, we argue for an approach to atmosphere that places it ‘in-between’ persons and space, as a ‘spatially extended quality of feeling’ of which patients are intimately aware. The article discusses empirical material drawn from a broader study of inpatient medium-secure forensic care in a large hospital in the South of England. We show how the process of becoming attuned to the fluctuations and shifts in the atmosphere of the ward is a critical aspect of everyday life for patients. Attunement cuts across existing notions of power and resistance in these settings. We also demonstrate how attachments to a range of objects, some created by patients, can either expand or punctualize attunement, enabling change in the overall atmosphere. We conclude by speculating on how we might rethink spaces of recovery on an ethospheric basis.

Year2019
JournalThe Sociological Review
PublisherSAGE Publications
ISSN0038-0261
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1177/0038026119829751
Publication process dates
Deposited28 Jan 2019
Accepted25 Jan 2019
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/867y7

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