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A profession on the margins: status issues in Indian nursing

Authors: Nair, Sreelekha
Healey, Madelaine
Keywords: Women's studies;Health care;Nurses -- India -- Social conditions -- 21st century;Nurses -- Social conditions
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Centre for Women's Development Studies
Description: "This joint paper attempts an unusual collaborative approach that offers an understanding of the problems that registered nurses of India have faced. Through this paper, we seek to locate the problem of ‘social status’ in both historical and contemporary landscapes, representing a relatively rare attempt to bridge the gap between studies of the institutions of colonial society, and studies of the current fortunes of their post-colonial inheritors. The study of nursing provides an important opportunity to understand the complex interaction between colonial and post-colonial modernities, and some of the results of that interaction. This is an important exercise, especially because of the invisibility of nurses and nurse leaders anywhere in the discourse on/by the women’s movement. Women teachers and doctors are highly visible, and nurses, who are seen as personification of women professionals, are almost completely absent. Even accounts of women’s movements’ history which are critical of elitism elsewhere and recognise, like Forbes, that ‘our sources on women’s work in the nineteenth and even much of the twentieth century are vague and unanalytical’ (1996: 157), do not go beyond the scope of earlier writings and look only at women like Haimavati Sen, Anandibai Joshi and Muthulakshmi Reddy, , who were doctors, as representatives of women in modern professions, while pioneer nurses are lost to history."
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Appears in Collections:South Asian Born-Digital NGO Reports Collection Project

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