RN, Ph.D., Professor in Nursing Science
Department of Nursing and Care
The Swedish Red Cross University College, Stockholm
+46 (0)8 587 516 70
RN, Ph.D., Doctor in Nursing Science, Post-doctor researcher
Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies
Department of Health and Caring Sciences
University of Gävle, Sweden
+46(707)-10 69 99
Turning to monsters to learn about caring and humanity
Professor Henrik Eriksson and Dr. Martin Salzmann-Erikson’s research project will identify when, where and under what circumstances monsters in popular culture engage in caring activities. The project consists of an international forum where everyone who has observed a monster who cares can present his or her observation.
Professor Henrik Eriksson and Dr. Martin Salzmann-Erikson say that the project contains several scientific opportunities:
I. It will narrate caring activities outside a traditional nursing context. By and large, women in nursing home settings and mothers in home and household environments are the most common representations of care. As such these roles are often invisible and therefore taken for granted. When monsters care it will be highly visible.
II. Also important is that knowledge from this project will help give an understanding about empathic intelligences in virtual creations, i.e. robots, machines and cyborgs. It will provide some answers to the following questions: Can we teach them to care? Can robots, machines and cyborgs have the ability to empathize and care for others, just like monsters?
III. In addition to this, it seems that humans as a species on earth, given our historic, current and ongoing gender based track record of uncaring, have much to learn from monsters in terms of our abilities to engage in caring. Monsters who cares might provide a key understanding about our humanity.
Nursing researchers need to engage with this topic using their knowledge and contribute to this important and scientific challenge. This is our contribution, Professor Henrik Eriksson and Dr. Martin Salzmann-Erikson say. However, the project is dependent on public participation to become successful.
References, Informant Consent, Creative Commons and Copyright
1. Cohen, J. (1996). Monster Theory—Reading Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
2. By filling out the form, you also consent to the use of your report by the researchers in this project. By posting messages in the forum or commenting on the project you also consent to the use of your postings in this project. As researchers we honor your integrity and pledge that the information reported will be used confidentiall. The research comply with the principles of international ethical standards for conducting studies online and in openly accessible online forums (especially to SFS 2003:460 and Personal Data Act, 1998:204).
The photos: “King Kong pulling up Ann Darrow”, “Famous Monsters (1972), Frankenstein cover by Sanjulian”, “Famous Monsters (1974), Cover by Basil Gogo”, “hulk don't care” are all published with courtesy of Tom Simpson. "The Bride of Frankenstein, Motion Picture Daily, April 15, 1935" with courtesy of The Bees Knees Daily. "Frankenstein's Monster says You Are Beautiful" with courtesy of Marc Moss. "Boris Karloff as the Frankenstein Monster, Marilyn Harris (1924-1999) as Little Maria, 1931" with courtesy of Insomnia Cured Here.
"We live in a time of monsters. Monsters provide a key understanding to the culture that spawned them". (Cohen, 1996) 
Version 1.0. 2015-05-27.
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