For the Sake of the Children
The Social Organization of Responsibility in the Hospital and the Home
Rather than treating responsibility as an ethical issue, the authors focus on how responsibility is socially produced and sustained. The authors ask: How do staff members encourage parents to take responsibility, but keep them from interfering in medical matters, and how do parents encourage staff vigilance when they are novices attempting to supervise the experts?
The authors conclude that it is not sufficient simply to be responsible individuals. Instead, we must learn how to be responsible in an organizational world, and organizations must learn how to support responsible individuals.
American Sociological Association: ASA-Eliot Freidson Award
American Sociological Association: ASA-Theory Section Award
Society for the Study of Social Problems: C. Wright Mills Award
1: Why We Need a Sociology of Responsibility
2: Life in Two Neonatal Intensive Care Units
3: What Do We Mean by Responsibility?
4: Responsibility as a Joint Enterprise: The Role of the State in the NICU and the Home
5: The Social Control of Parenting in the NICU
6: Novice Managers of Expert Labor: Parents as Agents of Social Control in the NICU
7: Beyond the NICU: Variations in the Acceptance of Long-Term Responsibility
8: Responsible Individuals in an Organizational World
Appendix on Methods
Index of Interviews