Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Fuse duck flies into the University of Northumbria

Posted by Barbara Harrington

Fuse Duck arrived at Northumbria University on 30th May for a few weeks with me, Barbara Harrington, a researcher and lecturer in public health and patient safety. He quickly settled in having a cup of tea with his new friend, Stress Penguin from Redcar. Stress Penguin was liberated from Redcar whilst doing some interviews around Healthwatch, looking at the role of the new patient and public involvement organisations in the North East.

By Tuesday 3rd June and a lot of switching between PDFs, Excel Files, SPSS and SurveyMonkey for a Delphi project, something stronger than tea was called for. Fortunately Lesley Geddes (in the background), a principal lecturer with a particular interest in health promotion, behaviour change, and social marketing for health, was on hand to provide corrective public health messages about responsible drinking.

On Wednesday, 4th June, Fuse Duck joined in the celebrations when copies of Reforming Healthcare appeared written by Profs Ian Greener, David J Hunter, Russell Mannion, Martin Powell - and me! This is a major critical overview of the research published on healthcare reform in England from 1990 onwards. As you can see, Fuse Duck is riveted, considering the implications of this research for current debates about healthcare reorganisation in England.

Also on Wednesday, Fuse Duck attended our theory discussion seminar - the highlight of the month for many research staff, PhD students and other academics months. Here, staff from different disciplines within the faculty read and discuss some of the key theoretical texts from the social sciences. The seminars are led by Mick Hill, Robbie Duschinky, and Ian Robson. So far we have looked at chapters from Foucault’s Psychiatric Power lecture series, and Bourdieu’s Misrecognition and Symbolic Violence. These are always well led and interesting, discussing theory in relation to the times they were written and how relevant they continue to be. 

In June, we discussed Goffman’s Presentation of Self – Chapter 1. As usual the discussion was wide ranging including references to Hamlet, as well as presentation of self in relation to higher education teaching and health, social work, and education practice. With Fuse Duck attending, there was also a discussion about whether he had inadvertently disrupted the expected setting and consequently the personal fronts people displayed in this seminar. It was in fact a very apt seminar for Fuse Duck to attend. Here he is Ian Watson and me getting to grips with some of the finer points of Goffman.

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