Men Discussing Women and Women Discussing Men: Reflexivity, Transformation and Gendered Practice in the Context of Nursing Care


Brunel Business School, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK, e-mail:


This article explores gender reflexivity through the accounts of men discussing women and of women discussing men as professional nurses. Drawing on data from an Australian-based study, and with an orientation to gender as practice, it investigates the skills and aptitudes that each is seen to bring to the job, how men and women view the other's performance as caregivers and the experiences and challenges of working with the other group. Previous work has suggested there is a link between reflexivity and transformation as individuals self-consciously shape identities and as they reflect critically on their social conditions. The results from this study question the nature and extent of these transformative powers and suggest different levels of reflexivity based on the extent to which individuals challenge gender norms. These levels are linked to experiences of dissonance as men and women work with each other in a ‘feminized’ context of nursing care.