Shannon Satterwhite

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, San Francisco, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9432

Approve Date

April 18, 2017

Project Title

Satterwhite, Shannon M., U. of California, San Francisco, CA - To aid research on 'Timing the Social: The Temporalities of Primary Care in the U.S. Safety Net,' supervised by Dr. Vincanne Adams

Preliminary abstract: Time figures as an obstacle at the heart of a current ‘crisis’ in contemporary U.S. primary care, a focal point in a complex set of economic, political and professional issues shaping the structure and allocation of care. Through twelve months of ethnographic research in public primary care clinics, I will explore how different temporal horizons figure in current models of primary care practice, how the acute and chronic needs of individuals and populations are prioritized and distributed in these practices and how modes of social intervention intertwine with temporal concepts. This project is informed by and will build upon three broad fields of scholarship in anthropology: the anthropology of time, clinical ethnography and theories of the modern social. The social here refers to the way in which institutions think about populations and individuals as objects of intervention and improvement. This study adds to existing clinical ethnographic literature, which has mostly focused on the hospital, by studying the unique temporal structure of outpatient, longitudinal primary care. It also moves analysis of clinical temporality beyond notions of efficiency to open up the multiplicity of temporal threads, forces and practices at play to new analysis. The goals and values at stake in the clinic make the complexity of time visible. In this study, I explore how primary care acts upon the social, in part through explicit and informal forms of time organization and allocation. Taking the clinic as a site for understanding broader temporal anxieties in U.S. society, this project will explore how the social is articulated through time in contemporary forms of intervention and critique.