The knowledge–power knot in professionalism: transforming the ‘currency of competition’

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:
The knowledge–power knot in professionalism: transforming the ‘currency of competition’

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This chapter examines the knowledge-power knot of professionalism. The power of biomedical knowledge is not simply changed through standardisation and EBM. Moreover, ambivalence is embedded in cognitive standardisation and currently reinforced through economic theory and managerial tools. Both logics claim one single truth and rely on the purported objectivity and neutrality of scientific data. However, one can observe a number of fissures, especially those provoked by user demands, that may loosen the knot and shift the balance of power. The cracks are widening where user interests and claims for participation of the various health occupations and alternative therapists coincide and challenge the medical profession from different sides. Once again, the state plays a crucial role when it comes to the inclusion of new actors in the regulatory arrangement and better opportunities to negotiate ‘legitimate’ knowledge.

Keywords: knowledge-power knot; biomedical knowledge; professionalism; cognitive standardization; economic theory; alternate therapy

Chapter.  7596 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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