Policy talk: gender and the regulation of nursing knowledges and practices

Judith Macdonnell
ANS. Advances in Nursing Science 2010, 33 (3): 219-33
This article discusses findings from a qualitative policy study using comparative life history methodology with 10 Canadian female nurses who were lesbian health advocates. A critical gender lens was used to examine policy literature and to frame an analysis of how nurses experienced and understood their engagement with policy by focusing on their "policy talk." The findings suggest that nurses participate in policy processes in multiple ways through their everyday political work, but their practice is contested and contextualized by tensions between dominant and counter discourses of policy. Complex gendered social relations structure diverse nurses' lives as policy actors and regulate nurses' knowledges and practices.

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