The Other Doctor: When Professional Boundaries Conflate with Notions of Ethnic 'otherrness'

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 8:00 PM
Room: 414
Oral Presentation
Lisa SALMONSSON , Department of Sociology, Uppsala Univeristy, Uppsala, Sweden
The paper suggests that field of Sociology of professional groups need to consider social position theory in order to theorize boundaries of ‘Otherness’ within them. The paper is based on some of my concluding remark from my dissertation where I interviewed medical doctor with immigrant backgrounds in Sweden about their feeling of belonging to the Swedish medical profession, among other things. The thesis is that the medical profession in general and the Swedish medical profession in particular have been successful in controlling the number of new doctors that are accepted to Swedish medical schools. Sweden has also experienced and increase in doctors with immigrant backgrounds working in the Swedish health organization. In my interviews with these doctors they often told me about something that could be understood as hierarchies within the profession on the basis of ‘being and outsider within’. I have chosen to theorize this as ‘ethnic Otherness’ as it seem to have to do more with that they are ascribed with ‘non-Swedishness’ than about what ‘ethnicity’ they have. These divisions I argue are linked to ideas that can be found in EU legislation, in the Swedish research on ethnicity and health as well as in The Swedish Medical Association and can therefore be a case of another ‘successful’ boundary making.