Living with Uncertainty: Attachment and Narratives of Care


Published on

Published in: Health & Medicine, Spiritual
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Living with Uncertainty: Attachment and Narratives of Care

  1. 1. Living with Uncertainty: Attachment and Narratives of Care Dr Christopher Groves Social Sciences, Cardiff University
  2. 2. What Matters? Crompton, T. (2010) Common Cause: The Case for Working with our Cultural Values Godalming, WWF-UK.
  3. 3. Where do values come from?
  4. 4. “with the precarious and perilous character of existence” Michael Jackson (1989), Paths toward a clearing, p. 17 A universal concern… “It is in the context of capability, vulnerability and precarious well-being or flourishing, and our tendency to form attachments and commitments, that both values and reason in everyday life need to be understood.” Andrew Sayer (2011), Why things matter to people, p. 6
  5. 5. Survival and meaning “The meaning of our lives cannot, therefore, be understood as a search to satisfy generalizable needs for food, shelter, sex, company and so on, as if our particular relationships were simply how we had provided for them. It is more the other way round: without attachments we lose our appetite for life.” Peter Marris (1996), The politics of uncertainty, p. 45
  6. 6. From ‘holding’ to internalised secure space Thus what is communicated by the caregiver is a complex relation of literal holding to psychic holding or containment. It is this […] that provides a sense of continuity of being in which a young child is gradually able to replace literal physical holding with a sense of being whole and continuous. Valerie Walkerdine, (2010). "Communal Beingness and Affect: An Exploration of Trauma in an Ex-industrial Community“, Body & Society 16(1): 91-116.
  7. 7. The scope of attachment
  8. 8. Broken attachments “This constructed world of predictable relationships is the context of our actions. But it is subject to constant revision, and always more or less vulnerable to loss, self-doubts, experiences which make no sense to us. Then we no longer know what to do.” Peter Marris (1996), The politics of uncertainty, p. 4
  9. 9. ‘Mourning social injury’ “We are now a people with a broken culture”, said Simon Fobister, the chief of the Grassy Narrows Band, to a government delegation visiting the reserve in December 1978. […] The Ojibwa people have been counting on their native culture for hundreds of years to tune their moral and conceptual reflexes, to organize and give rhythm to their everyday lives, to give shape to things. That old mould was simply broken, and the result was a kind of bewilderment and disorientation that the usual sociological concepts – anomie, estrangement, alienation – are not rich enough to capture or reflect. Kai Erikson (1995), A New Species of Trouble, pp. 34-35.
  10. 10. Take-home points 1. Conditioning all other concerns: concern with the uncertain future 2. Attachment tames uncertainty, sustains meaning, identity and agency 3. Human development > internalisation of secure space, trust in world 4. Narratives of care extend agency and identity 5. Loss of attachment can threaten individual and collective agency & identity