About CPRN

Taking Practices Seriously

The Care Practices Research Network is a loose cohort of multidisciplinary researchers brought together by our desire to reinstitute a concern for care practices of all sorts. Whether these are professional practices of health, care and welfare, or family and other informal care practices, or practices involved with new technologies of health, we use the language of care practices to reflect the view that care takes multiple shapes and forms, and that there are many activities beyond what is traditionally understood as caregiving that constitute care. Thus our various studies of practices take account of the range of activities that help to sustain and improve people's everyday lives.

Studying practices 'on their own term' requires both methodological tools and a theoretical vocabulary that will to allow us to keep practices and their effects in view and available for study. To help make care practices visible and articulable, the CPRN draws on theoretical resources developed through social studies of science, Science and Technology Studies, ethnomethodology, and relational ontologies - all ways of attending to the relational networks that enact social worlds. What connects us as a group is our focus on theorizing ethnographic accounts of specific enactments of care practices, asking what is related to what and how, in order to see how the work of care is distributed among the collectives of people, things and ideas that comprise everyday life. The purpose of the CPRN is simple: if we can understand how 'things' are made, we can see better how they may be changed, how current practices might be improved or made different - how these might be otherwise.