Dissertation Abstract

Gender roles, socialization, and hierarchy in an allied health profession: Radiography students' constructs of self and the profession

Publication Number:  AAT3219751
Author:  Schmidt, Lisa F.
School:  The University of Arizona
Date:  2006
Pages:   372
Subject:  Higher education

Diagnostic medical imaging has typically been a feminized profession for decades, however, since the early 1990's, has increasingly attracted more men into the field, where now, the gender make up for diagnostic imaging is near parity. Medical imaging is a dynamic field comprised of ever evolving technology and sub-imaging fields, referred to as imaging modalities, including computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, mammography, cardiovascular imaging, and nuclear medicine, to name a few. Diagnostic imaging is now described as where the new "hot" jobs are located, and entrance into the field has continued to grow by more than 11 percent each year. This study is designed, through the interviewing of 39 men and women from two radiography programs located geographically 50 miles from one another, to explore the interest of men entering a feminized field characterized as a "high touch" profession, with occupational characteristics that consist of a broad mix of patient care/technology skills. While there is focus on men entering imaging, exploration of the interests of women entering this highly technical and physically challenging profession is a large part of this study, as radiography is feminized yet does not hold necessarily the occupational characteristics consistent with that of feminized fields. Additionally, this study is designed to determine what male and female perspectives are of the profession, as medical imaging has been characterized as consisting of "subordinates" who work under nurses, doctors and radiologists, occupational characteristics that do not typically attract men.

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