Power and knowledge in nursing practice: the contribution of Foucault

Henderson, Amanda (1994) Power and knowledge in nursing practice: the contribution of Foucault. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 20 5: 935-939. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2648.1994.20050935.x


Author Henderson, Amanda
Title Power and knowledge in nursing practice: the contribution of Foucault
Journal name Journal of Advanced Nursing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0309-2402
1365-2648
Publication date 1994-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1046/j.1365-2648.1994.20050935.x
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 20
Issue 5
Start page 935
End page 939
Total pages 5
Place of publication Chichester, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract This paper explores the implications of Michel Foucault's philosophical analyses for understanding nursing practice. Foucault describes power within a given society as unfolding not through large-scale events but rather through a complex 'micro-physics'. Power operates upon the human body. With the increasing use of observation, in understanding both the natural and social world, the body has become the subject of the 'gaze'. The body as object, however, is neither a universal belief nor truth but a product of ways of perceiving and examining it. In relation to nursing, the subjection of the body to the 'gaze' and the practices of the institutional environment of the hosptial are important for understanding the knowledge formulated. The power of practice is in the generation of knowledge. The nature and form of knowledge is instrumental in establishing the quality of nurse-patient relationships. This paper explores,through the particular exemplar of the patient in intensive care, the power of present practices to shape knowledge, and thereby dictate and limit the quality of the nurse-patient relationship.
Keyword Nursing
Power
Knowledge
Foucault
Intensive care
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Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Originally published as Henderson, Amanda (1994) Power And Knowledge In Nursing Practice: The Contribution Of Foucault. Journal of Advanced Nursing 20(5):935-939. Copyright 1994 Blackwell Publishing. All rights reserved.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
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