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Cuadernos de antropología social

On-line version ISSN 1850-275X


BALZANO, Silvia. Visibility and invisibility of nursing work in an Argentine neuro-psychiatric colony: an ethnographic perspective. Cuad. antropol. soc. [online]. 2012, n.35, pp.99-120. ISSN 1850-275X.

This paper presents reflections on identity and on the work of the nursing staff of a neuropsychiatric institution, dedicated to the care of people with mental disability, as the result of changes implemented in the institution since 2004. Inspired by the deinstitutionalization movement initiated in Europe by Basaglia, Laing, Cooper, Szasz, and Hugo Cohen in Argentina, these transformations would leave aside the traditional custodial model, in favor of a psycho-social model which seeks integration into community life. The implemented changes and adjustments generated among the nursing staff a variety of reflections and questions concerning their collective identity and the invisibility of their work.

Keywords : Nursing; Deinstitutionalization; Custodial model of care; Medical anthropology; Organizational culture.

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