The complexity of social practice : understanding inertia and change in maternity care organizations
Reiger, Kerreen, Lane, Karen, Schofield, Toni and Short, Stephanie 2008, The complexity of social practice : understanding inertia and change in maternity care organizations, in TASA 2008 : Re-imagining sociology : the annual conference of the Australian Sociological Association 2008, 2-5 December 2008, The University of Melbourne, TASA, Melbourne, Vic., pp. 1-12.
Beyond the limited efficiency and economy goals of neoliberal health policy lies the promise of genuine health services reform. In maternity care in particular, recent policy developments have sought to make the management of birth more ‘women-centred and family-friendly’. Interprofessional collaboration and greater consumer participation in policy and decision-making are key means to achieve this goal, but changing the entrenched system of medicalised birth remains difficult. Recent social contestation of maternity care has destabilised but not eradicated pervasive medical hegemony. Further reform requires analysis both of institutionalised patterns of power, and attention to the fluidity and situated knowledge shaping organisational and professional practices. Accordingly, this paper outlines a framework with which to explore the multi-layered social processes involved in implementing organisational and cultural change in maternity care. Analysis of social interventions in health systems, we suggest, can be advanced by drawing on strands from critical organization studies, complexity and critical discourse theories and social practice approaches.
Field of Research
111717 Primary Health Care
Socio Economic Objective
970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
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