'The Good Citizen’: Balancing Moral Possibilities in Everyday Life between Sensation, Symptom and Healthcare Seeking

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This article explores how healthcare-seeking practices and the transformation of bodily sensations into symptoms are embedded in what we term a ‘moral sensescape’ of ev- eryday life. Based on fi eldwork in a suburban middle-class neighbourhood in Denmark, we discuss how a moral relation between the Danish welfare state and the middle-class popula- tion is embodied in a responsibility for individual health. Overall, we identify a striving to be a ‘good citizen’; this entails confl icting moral possibilities in relation to experiencing, interpreting and acting on bodily sensations. We examine how people meet the conflicting moral possibilities of complying with current public health rhetoric on proper healthcare seeking, including timely presentation of symptoms, and simultaneously try to avoid misusing the healthcare system and be characterised as overly worried or even as a hypochondriac; this challenge constitutes complex navigational routes through the moral sensescape of the Danish middle
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnthropology in Action
Pages (from-to)6-12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

    Research areas

  • Denmark, healthcare seeking, middle class, morality, sensations, sensescape, symptoms, welfare

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