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Symbolic power and professional titles: the case of “podiatric surgeon”

Symbolic power and professional titles: the case of “podiatric surgeon”
Symbolic power and professional titles: the case of “podiatric surgeon”
Interprofessional conflict has largely been understood in terms of jurisdictional disputes centred
on contested task domains and role boundaries, with less attention paid to the symbolic value
associated with specific professional titles. Bourdieu’s concepts of symbolic power and capital
help to shed light on the opposition of the medical profession in the UK to the adoption of the
title “podiatric surgeon” by non-medically qualified podiatrists undertaking foot surgery.
Focusing on the medical discourse evident in press and media coverage of the dispute over
a 12-year period gives insights into the use of strategies of symbolic violence aimed at
retaining control over the exclusive use of prestigious forms of professional title. Titles, as
symbolic capital, are understood as central to professions’ struggle for legitimacy and
recognition.
1446-1242
310-322
Borthwick, A
b4d1fa51-182d-4296-b5fe-5b7c32ef6f9d
Boyce, RA
1783108d-a066-40d5-ab14-5a2060aa2740
Nancarrow, SA
25bbe404-7729-43d1-8b81-e22aac7042e9
Borthwick, A
b4d1fa51-182d-4296-b5fe-5b7c32ef6f9d
Boyce, RA
1783108d-a066-40d5-ab14-5a2060aa2740
Nancarrow, SA
25bbe404-7729-43d1-8b81-e22aac7042e9

Borthwick, A, Boyce, RA and Nancarrow, SA (2015) Symbolic power and professional titles: the case of “podiatric surgeon”. Health Sociology Review, 24 (3), 310-322. (doi:10.1080/14461242.2015.1051081).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Interprofessional conflict has largely been understood in terms of jurisdictional disputes centred
on contested task domains and role boundaries, with less attention paid to the symbolic value
associated with specific professional titles. Bourdieu’s concepts of symbolic power and capital
help to shed light on the opposition of the medical profession in the UK to the adoption of the
title “podiatric surgeon” by non-medically qualified podiatrists undertaking foot surgery.
Focusing on the medical discourse evident in press and media coverage of the dispute over
a 12-year period gives insights into the use of strategies of symbolic violence aimed at
retaining control over the exclusive use of prestigious forms of professional title. Titles, as
symbolic capital, are understood as central to professions’ struggle for legitimacy and
recognition.

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Submitted date: 16 January 2015
Accepted/In Press date: 11 May 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 11 June 2015
Organisations: Faculty of Health Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 381677
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/381677
ISSN: 1446-1242
PURE UUID: 87ee3602-72d7-4b27-a3f3-69c840fdb6d8

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 Sep 2015 14:47
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 20:33

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