Nursing Power and Social Judgement: An Interpretive Ethnography of a Hospital Ward, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Nursing Power and Social Judgement

An Interpretive Ethnography of a Hospital Ward, 1st Edition

By Martin Johnson


221 pages

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Paperback: 9781138330764
pub: 2020-02-01
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 1st February 2020
Hardback: 9781138330757
pub: 2018-08-01
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429447662
pub: 2018-08-20
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First published in 1997, this work makes a substantial reexamination of the social processes behind the labelling of patients in hospital care. Taking an interpretive perspective, the author analyzes the social construction of patient labels identifying strategies for and the consequences of giving and receipt of 'good' and 'bad' labels. He shows how the rich data of truly participant observation in the tradition of reflexive ethnography can powerfully illuminate the experiences and actions of both patients and their nurses. It is a critical analysis of key work in this field. Professor Johnson demonstrates the redundancy of trait theories of social judgment, offering a more complex and negotiated reality in which patient labels form a part of a rich web of unequal power relations between nurses and their clients.


’…written in a warm, sensitive and caring style which reminds the reader of the complexity and sophistication of everyday nursing…This is relevant and readable research.’ Nursing Standard ’This book has much to contribute…by raising the level of awareness and enhancing their understanding of the often accepted behaviour of many nurses in labelling patients. Valuable insight is provided into the nurse-client relationship in today’s complex health care environment.’ European Journal of Public Health

Table of Contents

1. Research Perspective. 2. Analytic Approach. 3. Participant Observation. 4. Access and Ethics. 5. Good and Bad Patients: a Review in Depth. 6. Judging People and Assessing. 7. The Climate of Social Judgement. 8. Negotiating. 9. Struggling. 10. Acquiescing. 11. Aspects of Caring and Coping. 12. Conclusion: a Theory of Social Judgement.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General