Contingency in everyday surgical work

Pope, C. (2002) Contingency in everyday surgical work. Sociology of Health and Illness, 24, (4), 369-384. (doi:10.1111/1467-9566.00300).


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This paper concerns a qualitative study exploring the nature of surgical work with a group of 34 surgeons involved in treating urinary incontinence. Sources of surgical variation are identified from surgeons' own accounts of their work as well as observation of the selection of patients and operative procedures, and the operative process itself. A typology of contingency, consisting of three categories of contingency (case, surgeon and external), was found in this area of everyday surgical work. In developing this typology, theoretical and philosophical ideas about habitus and disposition, and practical and technical knowledge, are considered and extended to help to understand the nature of surgical practice. These ideas may also be useful in explaining some of the apparent tensions between evidence-based surgery and everyday surgical work.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/1467-9566.00300
ISSNs: 1467-9566 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: surgical work, technical and practical knowledge, contingency, qualitative research
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
R Medicine > RD Surgery
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > Superseded (SONM) > Superseded (HSR)
ePrint ID: 11126
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
July 2002Published
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2004
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:22

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