'Playing' doctors and nurses? Competing discourses of gender, power and identity in the British National Health Service

Leonard, Pauline (2003) 'Playing' doctors and nurses? Competing discourses of gender, power and identity in the British National Health Service. Sociological Review, 51, (2), 218-237. (doi:10.1111/1467-954X.00416).


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Original Publication URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-954X.00416


This paper adopts a feminist poststructuralist approach to demonstrate the ambiguities and complexities which exist in the relationship between work and subject. Recent studies in organizational sociology have argued that the discourses of work, and changing working cultures, have had a powerful effect on the production of subjectivities. New forms of working behaviour have been constructed as desirable, which often draw on personal qualities such as gender. This paper draws on research conducted with doctors and nurses in the British National Health Service to reveal the ambiguities which exist in the ways in which individuals position themselves in relation to these discourses. The discourses of work and organization are constantly mediated through, and destabilised by, the intertextuality that exists with competing discourses such as those of professionalism, gender, home and performance. Although organizational discourses are clearly powerful in the construction and performance of subjectivities, the interplay between discourses means that these are constantly destabilised and undermined.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/1467-954X.00416
ISSNs: 1467-954X (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Sociology and Social Policy
ePrint ID: 34009
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 16 May 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:00
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/34009

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