Podiatry and the State: occupational closure strategies since 1960
British Journal of Podiatry, 3, (1), .
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The concept of social closure may be used to explain how occupational groups, particularly the professions, seek to secure and retain their status. The pursuit of legislative controls to support and protect these privileges constitutes a key component of closure. Attempts within state podiatry to attain statutory changes to, and replacement of, the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act (1960) has been marked by a series of identifiable occupational strategies. This paper examines the nature of these strategies, their underpinning professional aspirations and their dependence upon State policy and ideology. The quest to secure a more powerful and durable form of occupational closure, in line with the dental or medical models, is evaluated and informed through theory derived from the sociology of the professions. The prospects for current and future closure strategies are further examined in the light of the recent Health Act (1999).
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