Raising the question of dignity through knowledge about tacit practices and politics: sharing learning from the Norwegian welfare state
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Practice Development Journal. 2017, 7, (suppl.1) 10.19043/ipdj.7SP.001
The focus of this special issue is some of the main tacit policies and practices in the Norwegian welfare state. By looking at what is tacit, mute, unarticulated and neglected we will contribute to raising and presenting knowledge about the social and ethical question of dignity in welfare. This introductory article will first give a short overview of the historical background of the Norwegian welfare state and some of its current features. This will be followed by our positioning of the Norwegian welfare state as situated within complex practices, political discourses and dimensions that might be characterised as tacit, implicit or unarticulated. The article aims to discuss the concept of dignity in welfare services, at the individual and structural level, by asking ‘what kind of practices and structural conditions preserve dignity and where might dignity be violated, ignored or left out?’The various articles in this special issue of the International Practice Development Journal illuminate what can be said and what is mute and tacit in different ways, and consider a range of practice-based responses. By revealing tacit dimensions in the Norwegian welfare this issue offers important insight into practices and discourses where dignity is at stake. It is a requirement of us all that we revisit dignity and its location and representation in our health systems to ensure it is not left behind as the state and other systems within it evolve.