The San Juan de Dios Hospital and its workers: the social life of a hospital and the health crisis in Colombia

Andrés Góngora About the author

Abstract

This article describes some significant events of the fifteen years of struggle (1999-2014) of a group of women for the reactivation of the San Juan de Dios Hospital and to stay on as workers after the neoliberal reforms in Colombia. The ethnography presented proposes tools for the understanding of the moral dimensions forged from a conflict for the recognition of rights and shows that the hospital, more than being an architectural complex, is a language activated by the workers to affirm their humanity, a vehicle for the symbolic elaboration of a cause and a means to understand the construction of collectives based on emotional terminology.

Keywords:
work; anthropology; hospitals; public health

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