When a “home” becomes a “house”: care and caring in the flood recovery process

From Space and Culture            

As Australia has become the latest victim of severe flooding, we are mindful of the potentially devastating consequences. This article looks back to the 2007 floods in North East England, to consider the care needs that are revealed, disrupted, and produced by the dependencies and vulnerabilities associated with flood recovery. It also uses diaries to document and understand the everyday experiences of individuals following the floods. The research highlights the importance of place and space within health care. The consequences of flooding on homes may cause disruptions to the meanings, objects, and routines that help make up these safe spaces, therefore can have a profound impact on our emotional and physical landscapes.

Abstract

This article focuses on the spatialities of care that are revealed, disrupted, and produced by the dependencies and vulnerabilities associated with flood recovery. It is based on a case study of the summer floods of June 2007 in Hull, Northeast England. The authors use a real-time, diary-based methodology to document and understand the everyday experiences of individuals following the floods. In contrast to the literature, which looks at the impact of care and caring on the home, they ask –

what we can learn about caring when the home is disrupted. Focusing on the diaries, the authors explore what flood reveals about the emotional and physical landscapes of caring in the context of recovery and illustrate the intimate connections that exist between ideas of dwelling and caring. In drawing on the accounts of carers (who are often also those displaced by flood), they explore the tensions and intersections between the spatialities of caring work as these are enacted between the routines of everyday “normal” life and the specific disruptions generated by flood.

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Article details

Sims, R., Medd, W., Mort, M., & Twigger-Ross, C. (2009). When a “Home” Becomes a “House”: Care and Caring in the Flood Recovery Process Space and Culture, 12 (3), 303-316 DOI: 10.1177/1206331209337077

     
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