Brokers on the ward: ward boys, cleaners, and gatemen in a Bangladeshi hospital

Zaman, Shahaduz and van der Geest, Sjaak (2019) Brokers on the ward: ward boys, cleaners, and gatemen in a Bangladeshi hospital. Asian Journal of Social Science. ISSN 1568-4849 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Abstract
This paper is based on an ethnographic study conducted in a public hospital in Bangladesh. The study shows how the social dynamics necessary to deal with the structural realities of the hospital give this cosmopolitan institution a local character. In this paper, we describe this local character by focusing on the lower level hospital staff such as ward boys, cleaners, gatemen. Social inequality and exclusion are rampant in Bangladeshi public hospitals. Doctors and nurses are unwilling to communicate with patients and their relatives, while the latter are unable to approach the former for specific help or information. Our research, shows how low-level support workers fill the void between the two ‘factions’ and act as brokers transporting information and activities between these factions. By doing so they do not only make a crucial contribution to the functioning of the ward but also gain considerable influence in spite of their low position

Item Type: Article
Keywords: hospital, ethnography, ward boys, support workers, brokers, social hierarchy, Bangladesh
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Global Health and Infection
Research Centres and Groups: Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health Research
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Deborah Miller
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2019 08:20
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2019 08:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/88174

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