Oral Presentation The 26th International Nursing Philosophy Conference 2023

Exploring health inequities through the actor-network theory prism (#52)

Mar'yana Fisher 1 , Joanna Tulloch 1 , Olga Petrovskaya 1 2
  1. University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada
  2. IPONS, Edmonton

Social theory plays an important role in the nursing discipline and nursing inquiry as it provides a unique lens for uncovering social conditions of inequity and oppression. Among the sociological theories, actor-network theory (ANT) is an approach to research and analysis that has recently gained interest among nurse philosophers and researchers. Studies guided by ANT seek to understand phenomena of interest within the context of relationships between human and non-human actors to understand how care practices are co-created and how they can be made more humane. In this presentation, we will share the perspectives of two PhD students in the School of Nursing, University of Victoria, Canada, when, in our first year of studies, we explored social theories useful for our thesis research. We will describe the benefits of ANT for examining healthcare access for people using opioids and for incarcerated individuals with life-limiting illnesses accessing palliative care. We argue that attention to the materiality of care practices can contribute to efforts of advancing health equity for these groups.