The presentation of competence in health care


  • Liz Meerabeau PhD BSc(Hons) RGN RHV RNT RHVT PGCEA

    1. Senior Lecturer in Health Visiting, South Bank Polytechnic, Department of Community Health and Nursing Studies, Borough Road, London SE1 0AA, England
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This paper briefly addresses the views of social reality which underpin our interpretation of data, and argues that a social actor's statement is one account in a potentially infinite series, in which the actor presents him or herself as morally competent This argument is illustrated by data from a study of subfertile couples, and other data from studies of parenting handicapped children There is, however, a disjunction between these calm measured self-presentations, and the professional literature which describes a host of negative emotions This raises questions about how needs, particularly emotional needs, are defined in health care