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Ideas of "nursing" and "nurses" carry a powerful social charge. The image of the nurse continues to be a symbol of caring and of duty at the same time as it projects a view of femininity, "stereotypical" in its gender relations. How has this image come to be constructed? An empirical investigation of representations of nursing practices in Britain, focusing on publicity and promotional materials and their relationship to popular fictional narratives, reveals a strong correlation between what are usually described as discrete forms of signification. Recruitment images, the public face of the profession, provide an important source of information and inspiration for those considering nurse training. Julia Hallam, considers the "image" of nursing and how it has been constructed, contributing to debates surrounding gender and occupational identity, she draws from a wide range of sources including biographies, marketing and recruitment literature, popular fiction (e.g. Mills & Boon) and film (e.g. Carry On films).
The book should provide a valuable source for undergraduate and postgraduate students on courses such as the social history of nursing; the understanding of health and illness; women's studies and gender studies; and sociology courses focused on cultural or gendered study of health.