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Integrated care systems as an arena for the emergence of new forms of epistemic injustice

Fletcher, Andrew and Clarke, Jeremy (2020) Integrated care systems as an arena for the emergence of new forms of epistemic injustice. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 23 (5). 723 - 737. ISSN 1386-2820

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s10677-020-10111-1


Epistemic injustice has rapidly become a powerful tool for analysis of otherwise hidden social harms. Yet empirical research into how resistance to knowing and understanding can be generated and replicated in social programmes is limited. We have identified a range of subtle and not-so-subtle inflections of epistemic injustice as they play out in an intervention for people with chronic depression in receipt of disability benefits. This article describes the different ‘species’ of epistemic injustice observed and reveals how these are unintentionally produced at frontline, management, commissioning and policy levels. Most notably, there remains a privileging of clinical knowledge over other forms of knowledge, producing a ‘pathocentric epistemic complex’. This, combined with the failure of different agencies with competing ideologies to adequately understand each other, and a vicious policy context, added to the injustices already faced by people with mental health issues, generating multiple harms. This has important implications for a range of integrated care and welfare interventions – not least by drawing attention to their unintended potential for replicating epistemic injustice as an institutionalised complex. Careful evaluation and design of such programmes, applying the philosophical and epistemic resources illustrated here, can help mitigate this outcome. Further, by raising awareness of epistemic injustice among programme participants, we can generate epistemic structures that secure programme integrity locally, and promote better policy.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2022 12:39
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2022 12:39

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