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Bloody geographies: relating, connecting, giving and caring in blood donation and transfusion

Morris, Rebecca Hazel (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis critically questions, through in-depth qualitative research, the senses of connection, giving, care, and relatedness felt by blood donors and recipients, given the institutional setting of therapeutic blood exchange in the UK. In it, I use a multi-sited auto-ethnographic approach to examine five blood donor-/recipient-participant views on blood donation and transfusion. Specifically, I blend theoretical and empirical research to iterate between the meanings and realities associated with therapeutic blood exchange, exploring and examining the following things. First, I explore how blood can be treated as material culture: what it is as both biological tissue and as social/cultural metaphor. Second, I examine how gift giving and caring feed into and out of blood exchange, and whether this fosters a sense of connectedness for the anonymous others at the end of the blood pack. Third, I roll out the theme of connectedness to look at (the geographies of) relatedness where I examine the changing nature of kinship and its evolution into the concept of relatedness. Here, I examine how both relating through ‘things’ and at different scales could perhaps more usefully describe the connection/relationship between donors and recipients...or not. Finally, I draw this together, examining how the institutional framework of the National Blood Service can be said to either foster or not, the senses of connectedness and/or relatedness, gift giving and care between its donors and recipients.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Cook, Ian and Chilvers, jason
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects:GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:552
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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