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    The Role of the Caring Imagination in the Narrative Construction of Care in Human-Animal Work

    Connolly, Lucy (2020) The Role of the Caring Imagination in the Narrative Construction of Care in Human-Animal Work. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    The study of human-animal work is a new and rapidly evolving field. This thesis takes an ‘ethic of care’ approach to human-animal work, specifically by investigating the role of the ‘caring imagination’. Existing care literature does not address how the caring imagination acts to construct animals as responsive cared-for others in the context of human-animal work. This thesis aims to bridge this gap by asking: In human-animal work, how are the roles of caregiver and cared-for narratively constructed? Qualitative, semi-structured interviews were carried out with participants working in equine-related contexts. The transcripts were analysed using the Listening Guide method, an innovative technique derived from care theory for interpreting interviews. The findings reveal how both the roles of caregiver and cared-for are constructed through imaginative practice. The horses are presented as both receiving and acknowledging care, as well as engaging in caring practices themselves. Voice-giving acts as a way of constructing the horses as consenting to, or resisting, the care offered to them. The imaginative construction of the competent human caregiver, and what it means to give ‘good’ care, is also revealed. This thesis further acts as a response to the framework offered by Lawrence and Maitlis (2012) outlining how care is enacted narratively within work teams. It provides empirical evidence for how caring narratives are constructed on behalf of parties who do not have a voice. There are implications for practice where organisations seek to enhance safety in dangerous occupations, as well understand how workers construct their identities and make use of sustaining imaginative practices as a source of strength in occupations where care for dependent, vulnerable others is a feature.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Role; Caring; Imagination; Narrative Construction; Care; Human-Animal Work;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Business
    Item ID: 13610
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2020 14:53
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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