"Caring for insiderness": Phenomenologically informed insights that can guide practice

Les Todres, Kathleen Galvin, Karin Dahlberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the ‘‘insider’’ perspective has been a pivotal strength of qualitative research. Further than this, within the more applied fields in which the human activity of ‘‘caring’’ takes place, such understanding of ‘‘what it is like’’ for people from within their lifeworlds has also been acknowledged as the foundational starting point in order for ‘‘care’’ to be caring. But we believe that more attention needs to be paid to this foundational generic phenomenon: what it means to understand the ‘‘insiderness’’ of another, but more importantly, how to act on this in caring ways. We call this human phenomenon ‘‘caring for insiderness.’’ Drawing on existing phenomenological studies of marginal caring situations at the limits of caring capability, and through a process of phenomenologically oriented reflection, we interrogated some existential themes implicit in these publications that could lead to deeper insights for both theoretical and applied purposes. The paper provides direction for practices of caring by highlighting some dangers as well as some remedies along this path.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

©2014 L. Todres et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.


  • Caring
  • person centred
  • phenomenology
  • lifeworld
  • humanization
  • individualized care
  • reflective analysis


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