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Reframed Identity: Red Cross nurses' identity formation between 1945 and 1977
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8259-0002
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim is to explore the construction of nurse identity at the Red Cross Nursing School (RCNS) in Sweden, between 1945 and 1977, when nursing became part of the system of higher education in Sweden. Occupational identity is understood as a construct both of social learning and of a self-image. The empirical data consist of documents from the Red Cross Archive concerning the training of nurses and of interviews with nurses trained during the studied period. A hermeneutical interpretative method has been used. The result showed that the period studied was divided into two different phases. The first phase between 1945 and the end of the 1960s, is called the post war phase. The following phase, from the 1960s until 1977, is called the reform friendly phase. RCNS was in the post war phase a kind of total institution, based on a particular belonging to a very special and highly respected social community, reinforced by the student nurses being dressed in the same uniform and living under the same strong authority in a quite homogeneous group. The training was an introduction to a life-long membership in the total Red Cross Nurse community. This community was in the reform friendly phase challenged by diverse external changes in society. Within a period of approximately ten years, much came to be questioned, and many previously important customs and habits were abandoned. The total community started to dilute, and the lives of students changed gradually passing to a social arrangement where they slept, lived and worked in different places with different people under different authorities. The total community was impossible to modernise, built as it was on pre-modern values and hierarchies. This led to a breakdown of the traditional Red Cross nurse identity based on honour, where they were first of all Red Cross sisters. While the uniform occupational identity was challenged, more and more nurses combined family and work. This meant that their self-identities became more multidimensional. The key to our understanding of the Red Cross nursing education and the shift that took place in the late 1960s is thus to be found in the transformation of the internal collective, where nurses no longer lived and 2 learnt the traditional Red Cross codes of honour and conduct. Gradually, nurse training was integrated into higher education. This was a major reframing of the occupational identity formation, from specially selected Red Cross nurse students being trained into a total community of experienced Red Cross nurses, to an academic education of professional nurses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Education, Stockholm University , 2019. , p. 270
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar från Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik ; 58
Keywords [en]
Occupational identity, nurse training, hermeneutics, total institution
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-173707ISBN: 978-91-7797-753-7 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7797-754-4 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-173707DiVA, id: diva2:1355963
Public defence
2019-11-15, Lilla Hörsalen, Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Frescativägen 40, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-10-23 Created: 2019-09-30 Last updated: 2019-10-16Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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