Regime change in Australian maternity hospitals

Lane, Karen and Reiger, Kerreen 2013, Regime change in Australian maternity hospitals, Social Theory & Health, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 407-427.

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Title Regime change in Australian maternity hospitals
Author(s) Lane, Karen
Reiger, Kerreen
Journal name Social Theory & Health
Volume number 11
Issue number 4
Start page 407
End page 427
Total pages 21
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Place of publication Hants, UK
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1477-8211
1477-822X
Keyword(s) Managing risk
Midwifery
Maternity organisations
Risk regimes
Obstetrics
Summary Contemporary attempts to ‘organise’ risk and manage uncertainty are remaking many ‘industrial-era’ institutions – including maternity hospitals. Health policies are encouraging a shift away from hierarchical, medically dominated structures towards new governance systems and ‘women-centred’ care, often led by midwives. To understand the resulting contestation, in this article we argue for a wider conceptual frame than a focus on neo-liberal state regulation of the professions. We utilise theories of the ‘second modernity’, in particular those concerning socio-cultural changes associated with shifts in risk regimes, to interpret findings from qualitative research studies undertaken in Australian maternity hospitals. Whereas analysis confined to macro or institutional levels emphasises stability and hegemony, we demonstrate that when cultural and interactional levels are examined, considerable fluidity and uncertainty in the identification and negotiation of risk is evident, resulting in new work practices with inevitable shifts in professional identities and allegiances.
Language eng
Field of Research 160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920208 Health Policy Evaluation
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2013
Copyright notice ©2013, Palgrave MacMillan
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30060470

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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