Introduction. Need, Imagination, and the Care of the Self
1. I have altered details in this scene to ensure anonymity.
2. See Englund’s (2006:8) insightful discussion of this.
3. See, e.g., Terry (2002); Bornstein (2001, 2003, 2012); Duffield (2001); Redfield
(2006, 2010, 2013); Ticktin (2006a, 2006b, 2011); Feldman (2007); Calhoun (2008, 2010);
Forsythe (2009); Benthall (2010); Bornstein and Redfield (2010); de Waal (2010); Fas-
sin (2010a, 2010b, 2012); McFalls (2010); Ophir (2010); Pandolfi (2010); Pupavac (2010);
Donini (2011), among many others. Several texts also give good reviews of the most
current literature. Among them are Barnett and Weiss (2008); Bornstein and Redfield
(2010); Fassin and Pandolfi (2010); and Feldman and Ticktin (2010a). This is a very par-
tial list of an important body of work.
4. Sometimes these “obstacles” arose from cultural differences that were difficult
and lengthy to negotiate with patients, their kin, and others. Sometimes local suppliers
and government officials were the “obstacles.” My interviewees usually commented on
their professional frustrations with a surprising degree of self-reflection and humor.
They had a keen insight into the extent to which they themselves had their own very set
ways of doing things, their “very Finnish” expectations.
5. For none of my interlocutors did this appear to be a “religious” need. They were,
on the whole, by their own reckoning, staunch secularists. They were very used to hav-
ing to answer the question: “Isn’t this a Christian organization? You have a cross on your
cars.” They spent a good deal of time trying to convince people that their mission was
“strictly medical” and “humanitarian,” “not religious,” but they could not of course con-
trol other interpretations of the intended official meaning of the symbol, or the uses to
which it was put (see Asad 1993, 2003; and chapter 6). The Swiss historical foundation of
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