Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

Complaining as a moral narrative: An ethnographic study of complaints, morality and bureaucracy at a Dutch health insurer

Part of ‘Moralising Misfortune: A Comparative Anthropology of Commercial Insurance’, an ERC Consolidator project of Erik Bähre.

Contact
Nikkie Buskermolen

Moralising Misfortune: A comparative ethnography of commercial insurance

What moral concerns do people have when they encounter the financial sector in their everyday life? This question will be studied in six countries: Brazil, Italy, India, The Netherlands, South Africa and the USA. The project explicitly deals with highly personal and intimate encounters with financial globalisation. This project examines commercial insurance within the context of broader transactional systems. It examines private insurance as a form of solidarity that is connected with other solidarities, for example among family members, social groups, the (welfare) state, or within voluntary associations.

PhD project: Complaining as a moral narrative: An ethnographic study of complaints, morality and bureaucracy at a Dutch health insurer.

Morally charged disputes gain meaning in a complaint. Complaints addressed to the health insurer and the responses by the health insurer allow me to reveal the moral narratives and bureaucratic practices at stake and how they are connected. In complaints people express that they refuse to accept that things are not as they ought to be and voice their ideas about the organisation of care and money. The insurer will on their side explain why it is as it is. It is precisely this friction that I am interested in. 

Connection with other research

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