Respectability and the paid caring occupations: An empirical investigation of normality, morality, impression management, esteem in nursing and social work

Huppatz, Kate
April 2010
Health Sociology Review;Apr2010, Vol. 19 Issue 1, p73
Academic Journal
Feminised caring occupations like nursing and social work are popularly considered to be respectable occupations for women. This objective of this paper is to investigate the role of respectability in paid caring work by women within nursing and social work. This paper draws on Ball's conceptualisation of respectability as a heuristic device in the analyses of 39 in-depth interviews with women who work and study in nursing and social work. The paper finds that normality, morality, impression management and esteem are central to the operation of respectability in the paid caring occupations and concludes with recommendations for rethinking the relationship between respectability and these occupations.


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