A post-deferential society?

Holmes, Colin A. (2011) A post-deferential society? Nursing Inquiry, 18 (3). pp. 185-187.

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[Extract] In the course of one of several public e-mail discussions sparked by a deliberately provocative attack on nursing made by Ms. Minette Marrin (2011) in the Sunday Times,1 it was suggested that we live in a 'post-deferential society'. Although an intriguing claim, this certainly is not the case from where I stand! Indeed, the university, as the principal site of nurse education, is universally an exemplar of a deferential, hierarchical system, in which academics teach critical thinking but kowtow without a hint of resistance to the most unwanted and unreasonable demands of those in authority. In Australia, this attitude is endemic and infects public organizations and the business world alike. Quite apart from popular investigative reports, evidence of this is easy to find, especially in the health sector – rapid staff turnover, low levels of job satisfaction, high sickness rates, constant claims of bullying, loss of quality staff overseas, lack of innovation, persistence of dysfunctional components of the system, and so on. Having developed in a strictly hierarchical system, with which its leaders naturally colluded, nursing is doubly disadvantaged, suffering from deference institutionalized in its professional culture and deference imposed on nurse educators and students by the university system.

Item ID: 21151
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
ISSN: 1440-1800
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2012 02:40
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920210 Nursing @ 100%
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