Breathing Life into a Standard : The configuration of resuscitation in practices of informing

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

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The study inquires into how a specific piece of standardised information, namely the standard for bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), is configured in the practices of lifesaving and bystander CPR-training. Standardisation is commonly thought of as leading to uniformity and order, while practices are dynamic. They evolve and change through repeated enactments. The aim of this thesis is to explore what happens in the meeting of these two apparently conflicting phenomena, practices and standards. The study’s analytical framework is primarily based on theories of practice, previous studies of standards and a foucauldian governmentality perspective. In order to attain the aim the CPR standard is followed ethnographically and a few specific incidents of its enactment are examined in detail. The material the study is based on has been compiled by observing bystander CPR classes, interviews with participants in CPR training and documents from some of the central actors involved in this practice which develop, update and distribute guidelines. The study demonstrates how the standard in the pursuits of making CPR an intervention to be carried out by the lay public is linked to and associated with technologies, hopes and aspirations. As these diverse elements are connected to each other, additional configurations of lifesaving and resuscitation than that delineated by the standard appear. The ways in which information features and informing happens in these pursuits are diverse and shown to have implications for the shaping of a particular kind of subjects, lay rescuers. This study consequently raises questions about how standardised information is configured in practices and how diverse ways in which informing happens in practice are associated with different forms of governance.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Division of ALM and Digital Cultures
  • Haider, Jutta, Supervisor
  • O'dell, Thomas, Supervisor
  • Kjellman, Ulrika, Supervisor, External person
Award date2015 Sept 25
ISBN (Print)978-91-981458-2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2015-09-25
Time: 10:15
Place: Sal C121, LUX, Helgonavägen 3, Lund.

External reviewer(s)

Name: Cox, Andrew M.
Title: Dr
Affiliation: University of Sheffield, England


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cultural Studies
  • Information Studies

Free keywords

  • Standards
  • practice theory
  • ethnography
  • information studies
  • CPR
  • cardiac arrest
  • governmentality
  • library and information science
  • information practices


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