Transformations of professionalism: permeable boundaries in a contested terrain

Ellen Kuhlmann

in Modernising health care

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9781861348586
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302810 | DOI:
Transformations of professionalism: permeable boundaries in a contested terrain

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This chapter highlights shifts in professionalism from social exclusion towards more inclusive patterns, which are manifest in new strategies of professionalisation and more contextualised identities. Conservative actors, such as the medical profession, increasingly apply tools from new governance. However, physicians transform the tools aimed at control of providers into successful professionalisation strategies that allow them to avoid tighter control and reassert medical power under changing conditions. The health occupations studied here also make use of the concept of professionalism, but the advantages remain uncertain with respect to occupational control and status. One central issue is a gendered pattern of work and professionalisation, which is transformed but nonetheless alive in new professional projects. The state does not adequately target the potential of professionalism developed from the bottom up to modernise health care systems. This is especially true with respect to the health occupations.

Keywords: professionalism; social exclusion; health occupations; occupational control; new governance

Chapter.  11393 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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