The professional imagination: narrative and the symbolic boundaries between medicine and nursing


DrC May, Rusholme Health Centre, Walmer Street, Manchester M14 5NP, England


The socilogy of nursing, despite despite decisive interventions by recent commentators, continues to take as its main focus the subordination of nursing to biomedicine. This view reflects analytic stability, as well as institutional inertia. Far less attention has been paid by sociologists to the ways in which nursing is constructing its difference from medicine, and the exercise of the professional imagination that this involves. This paper suggests a strategy by which this might be remedied, which would focus on professional narratives.