Talk by Dr Sudeepa Abeysinghe, University of Edinburgh

Of interest to STS-folks

January 28th 2019, 3-4pm Bowland North Seminar Room 3, Lancaster University

‘Changes in Medical Work Following the Fukushima Disaster’

Sudeepa Abeysinghe, School of Political and Social Sciences, University of Edinburgh

The structure and functions of work are fundamentally disrupted by disaster. Drawing upon interviews with medical staff, this paper charts the breakdown and reconstruction of patterns of work in the five years following the Fukushima Triple Disaster.  The findings show that medical workers experienced widespread destablisation of work during the acute phase of the disaster, and this was followed by a period of remaking workplace norms, functions, and structures in sometimes novel ways. These included both the reinforcement of existing status boundaries but, simultaneously, the ability of some professionals to transcend the traditional boundaries of their expertise. These experiences of disaster and the subsequent reconstruction of the workplace show the changes in work that can occur following an exogenous shock.

Dr. Sudeepa Abeysinghe is a Lecturer in Global Health Policy at the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh. She is a health sociologist whose work focuses on issue of risk, classification, and crisis, including a current project on health and environmental crisis in the Citarum River, Indonesia, and ongoing work in Fukushima including the new ESRC Health, Risk, Disaster (HeaRD) Network.