The Fractured Self: Deconstruction of Role Identity as a Consequence of Health Care Reform

By Marilyn Orrock and Jocalyn Lawler.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

With its roots immersed in symbolic interactionism, identity theory contends that one’s concept of self is composed of multiple identities within one’s social structure, and that the experiences within one’s role identity are important for emotional and psychological wellbeing. Identity theory provides a firm conceptual linkage between self-esteem and psychological distress – a concept termed here, the fractured self.
This paper reports on current research being undertaken (Orrock, in progress)
which explores the role identity of the senior nurse manager and argues that the health care reform agenda, commenced in the mid-1980s, signalled the deconstruction and subsequent demise of the role identity of the Nightingale matron? With reference to the emergent themes from the research, this paper will illuminate our concept of ‘the fractured self’.

Keywords: Identity Theory, Role Deconstruction, Fractured Self, Health Care Reform, Senior Nurse Managers

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 7, pp.25-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 533.632KB).

Dr. Marilyn Orrock

Lecturer, Health Services Management, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia

Marilyn completed her nurse education in Broken Hill in 1970 and has extensive experience in nursing and health services management in both remote rural and tertiary referral hospitals, before joining the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery. Her clinical background includes all critical care areas, operating theatres and labour wards. Her major area of clinical experience and preference is emergency and trauma nursing. She holds qualifications in nursing, midwifery, psychology, education and health services management. Her main research interests are leadership and health services management.

Prof. Jocalyn Lawler

Dean, Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia

Jocalyn began her nursing career in Broken Hill in outback Australia, in 1967. She holds qualifications in nursing, social science and education and took Doctor of Philosophy from the University of New South Wales in 1989. Her research interests concern the experience of illness, methodologies for nursing research, nurses' social and interpersonal management of the body, and the reasons why nurses work is poorly understood and invisible. Jocalyn took up her position as Professor of Nursing at The University of Sydney in 1992; and she was Dean of the Faculty of Nursing from 1999 until 2008.

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