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Eroding respectability

Eroding respectability: Deprofessionalization through organizational spaces

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Original languageEnglish
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Early online date10 Oct 2017
StateE-pub ahead of print - 10 Oct 2017


This article addresses the question – can a deterioration in organizational spaces erode a profession’s status? It draws on organizational spaces literature to analyse the relationship between design of the physical work setting and senior doctors’ experiences of deprofessionalization. Analysis of qualitative data from a study of senior hospital doctors identifies two main themes that link the experience of spaces with perceptions of the erosion of professional status and reduced knowledge sharing. These two themes are: emplacement, which is the application of coercive power both in and through spatial arrangements, and isolation, which refers to physical alienation in the workplace leading to disconnection and a perceived loss of power. Observing the changes in the physical environment over time and mapping them against these processes of deprofessionalization may offer interesting new insights into the sociology of professions.

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