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Professional status and managerial tasks a comparison of nursing and social work in contemporary Britain with special reference to women's work

Lorentzon, Maria (1986) Professional status and managerial tasks a comparison of nursing and social work in contemporary Britain with special reference to women's work. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The thesis is based on documentary research concerned with a comparative examination of professionalism, managerialism and gender-typing in British nursing and social work. The mode of research is essentially qualitative in that selected documents are explored for relevant themes with subsequent examination of professional journals over a substantial period, in order to elicit the response to the above mentioned documents. All research material has been published between 1959 and 198C, although the historical antecedents are traced back to the Victorian era. The theoretical starting point is that of Etzioni's (19&9)(1) theory on "semi-professions", which is re-examined in the light of the above research material and other relevant literature, with a further development into what is termed "feminine professionalism" by the researcher. Thus the main research propositions are as follows:- 1. That Etzioni's thesis on the weakness of professional structures in certain occupations, with the tendency for managerialism to supervene in senior positions, applies in both nursing and social work. 2. That a distinct "gender division of labour" prevails in nursing and social work, with men predominantly occupying managerial/instrumentally orientated posts, whereas women tend to hold professional/expressively slanted positions. The notion of "feminine professionalism" is important in this context. 3. That the different hierarchical structures, professional ideologies and institutions and educational systems in British nursing and social work have contributed to their different development paths during the period under consideration. The research revealed support for all propositions listed above, although material relating to "feminine professionalism" was of a more implicit nature, dealing with themes underlying the practice of nursing and social work, not directly referred to within the terms of reference of the above documents. The latter concern themselves directly with professional, managerial and educational matters and the information gleaned under these headings was thus of a more explicit nature. Allowance for this difference in status of research information in the two categories has been made in analysing the research material.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 1986 Maria Lorentzon
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Supervisor: Pinker, Robert and Carrier, John

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