Elena Spina

Generational gap and new medical professionalism. Preliminary notes for an empirical research

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Generation; Generational Gap; Medical Professionalism; Sociology of Professions; Collaborative Community.

In this paper the generational variable is used as a key to the interpretation of the changes that are taking place in medical professionalism. The hypothesis is that several changes in the practice of medicine are due to the generational change (as well as to the feminization of the profession). From many years the sociology of professions has tried to understand the reasons for the different ways of practicing the medical profession, however, it has neglected the generational gap. After reconstructing the debate on new medical professionalism, the paper focuses on three different theoretical models (those of Hafferty and Castellani 2010, Julia Evetts 2011 and Vicarelli and Spina 2013), in order to re-interpret them by using the generational dynamic. Greater attention is paid to one model in particular, analysing in detail the concept of collaborative community. By using the main findings of some empirical researches, the paper highlights how the concept of community changes when a generational change takes place. Further empirical research should be carried out in order to verify a theoretical hypothesis that, nevertheless, appears to be compelling, showing the importance of the generational variable as reading key to the interpretation of diverse medical practice and, ultimately, of the variety of professionalisms.

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