Faux-Nightingale, A, Kelemen, M, Lilley, S and Stewart, C (2022) Sensemaking in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic: A narrative exploration of polarised morality in an NHS Trust. Sociology of Health and Illness. ISSN 0141-9889

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Abstract

This article presents an analysis of personal diaries kept by health-care staff within a specialist NHS Trust in England during the initial 3 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. It adopts a moral sensemaking perspective to explore how NHS employees mobilised and reframed ideas of right and wrong in order to make sense of unprecedented uncertainty and displacement. By focussing on how the macro and micro politics of the pandemic were played out in the organisation, the study finds that polarised moral judgements were invoked in order to justify and rationalise a broad array of associated emergent emotions, intuitions, behaviours and practices. This polarisation of moral responses could be seen as a desire to bring order out of chaos and put matters back into place following displacement. This is inevitably an ongoing, complex and variegated enterprise whose results can be as often discomforting as they can be reassuring. Indeed, while moral sensemaking was partly beneficial for staff in that it promoted a greater sense of camaraderie and support for others, it also appeared to have darker consequences in terms of staff wellbeing and the development of more impermeable social boundaries across the organisation through processes of moral 'othering'.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and repro-duction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.© 2022 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness.
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R735 Medical education. Medical schools. Research
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Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2022 14:34
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2022 14:34
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/11723

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