Qualitative Research in Medicine and Healthcare is an interdisciplinary and international forum for qualitative research in healthcare settings. The journal is conceived as a site for dialogues between researchers, academics, and healthcare practitioners; it allows an exchange between multiple parties in the health and social service professions, patients and clients as well as senior and junior researchers who believe in the ethos of qualitative approaches. Qualitative research is reflexive. It takes into account that the empirical insights and theoretical propositions it produces are ontologically consequential for all those involved in the research process. This journal publishes research that use many methods of data collection and numerous approaches to data analysis, ranging from systematic coding to mostly inductive, phenomenological and narrative approaches. Submissions can be either theoretical, empirical, or present state of the art reviews of important subject matter in the field, but they have to advance scholarly knowledge, and contribute to research practice in an original way. Each issue of Qualitative Research in Medicine and Healthcare provides readers with peer-reviewed articles that examine: the illness experience from multiple and varied perspectives; constructions of health, illness and healthcare that highlight relational and global contexts; healthcare policies in various organizational and institutional settings; the pressures of neoliberalism on healthcare; attention to the communicative dynamics of the patient-provider relationship; narrative approaches to health.


Thematic Issue | Legacies of Bhopal: 40 years on – Call for Papers


Qualitative Research in Medicine and Healthcare invites original manuscripts, reviews, case reports, and pedagogical activities focused on the legacy of the Bhopal Gas Disaster, known as ‘the world’s worst industrial disaster’. 

December 3, 2024, will mark 40 years since 40 metric tons of the deadly methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. In these past 40 years, the still-unfolding disaster has shaped environmental/occupational health and justice worldwide. For instance, responding directly to the disaster, the U.S. Congress enacted the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Toxics Release Inventory. Moreover, the disaster continues to serve as a point of reference for toxics-impacted communities globally.


The events of December 3rd are the most well-known aspect of this disaster. Less studied is the “slow violence” wreaked by the lack of clean-up, groundwater contamination, and chronic and intergenerational health impacts. Despite a longstanding dismissal of survivors' legal and medical claims, survivor-led and on-the-ground support groups creatively address the needs of the impacted communities. Workers' alliances and community-led social movement groups sustain a transnational movement for justice, engage in citizen science, have developed holistic approaches to relieving survivors’ chemical body burdens, and attend to the broader environmental health crisis.  

Frontline communities are typically subject to “toxic gaslighting” that constructs their lived experiences as inaccurate, exaggerated, or suspicious “voices of the side effects”. Qualitative studies of environmental health disasters help mitigate the harms done by technical models of risk communication, which dismiss community-based, sensory, embodied, intuitive, and experiential knowledges.

The co-editors for this special issue invite papers that focus on the Bhopal Gas Disaster and its legacies and impacts worldwide. Papers need not directly focus on the Bhopal gas disaster but must refer to and center its legacy. Heeding Dr. Eve Tuck’s crucial call to cease “damage-centered research,” we invite papers that resist the tendency to portray Bhopal’s survivors and frontline communities solely in terms of victimhood, pain, and strife. Papers can include research studies, first-person accounts, book reviews, and relevant pedagogical activities.

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