Health Care's Forgotten Majority: Nurses and Their Frayed White Collars

By Jacqueline Goodman-Draper | Go to book overview

1983 due to her conflict with the Turner leadership. The nurses felt their relationship with the union had begun crumbling since that point. The atmosphere for nurses at both St. John's and Mt. Zion hospitals was clearly emotionally charged regarding issues of unionism.12


OVERVIEW

Chapter 2 provides an in-depth analysis of some of the issues mentioned in this introduction: the transformation of the organization of work in the United States since 1870, the rise of white collar workers, and concomitant changes in the nursing occupation. It examines the emergence of professionalism in nursing and other, more independent professions. Finally, it examines the ways in which the three different collective strategies emerge in nursing.

Chapter 3 analyzes in detail nurses' class position, using Wright's framework. It examines each nursing segment's level of control within the economic, political, and ideological realms of production.

Chapter 4 demonstrates the way in which nurses' class position has a determining effect on their class identity (indicated by their choice of collective strategy), mediated by their interpretations of professionalism. That is, it examines in detail the emergence of different interpretations of professionalism (work control; capitalist individualism; and a composite of the two, work control and popular individualism) in relation to class position and collective actions.

Finally, the conclusion to this study suggests that salaried, educated, white collar workers comprise different contradictory class locations. This group is made up of distinct segments, crosscutting occupations, with different levels of control in the labor process. Their subjective class identity and forms of collective action reflect this objective heterogeneity. Workers in each class position convey their own maps of social reality, their own ideologies, around which they collectively organize. Thus, some identify with the values and strategies of organized labor, some with the values and strategies of individualized forms of social mobility, and some with certain values and strategies of both organized labor and individual mobility.

This study empirically demonstrates that the fastest-growing sector of the American labor force, the educated white collar work force, is objectively stratified, displaying no evidence of unified class politics.


NOTES
1.
Managed competition theoretically means that individuals will be clustered into large, state-organized purchasing groups, or health alliances. Ostensibly, a wide range of health providers would rise up and compete for the sponsor's business. In addition, a

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Health Care's Forgotten Majority: Nurses and Their Frayed White Collars
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments iv
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter 1 Introduction 1
  • Notes 25
  • Chapter 2 Rise of the White Collar Worker, Ideology of Professionalism, and White Collar Strategies: The Case of Nursing 29
  • Notes 48
  • Chapter 3 Nurses' Class Position 51
  • Notes 86
  • Chapter 4 Visions of Professionalism: A Window on Class Identity 87
  • Notes 129
  • Chapter 5 Conclusion (or Where Does the Frayed Collar Go From Here?) 133
  • Note 139
  • Appendix A Professional Nurse Survey 141
  • Appendix B Survey Coding 147
  • Appendix C New York State Nurses Association: Questions and Answers About Entry into Practice 155
  • References 159
  • Index 169
  • About the Author 174
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