Indian physiotherapists' global Mobility: a grounded theory journey of professional identity transformation

GRAFTON, Kate (2013). Indian physiotherapists' global Mobility: a grounded theory journey of professional identity transformation. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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In the last decade over a thousand Indian physiotherapists have travelled to work or study overseas. Published literature investigates the global mobility of doctors and nurses but there is no literature that considers the global migration of physiotherapists from developing countries. The purpose of this study was to understand the motivations and aspirations underpinning the Indian physiotherapists' global mobility. Nineteen Indian physiotherapists were interviewed in English individually or in focus groups. The data was collected and analysed using constructivist grounded theory methods. The findings suggest that Indian physiotherapists travelled overseas for professional development, they sought knowledge, skills and experience that they perceived were not available in India. Many sought experience of autonomous physiotherapy practice. They aspired to a better life, through better professional practice, increased respect and pay. Indian societal values amplified the importance of pay and respect for male physiotherapists, whereas females prioritised professional development. All aspired to professional autonomy and planned to return to India once their travel objectives were met. Behind the motivations for travel was a discourse of challenge and turmoil for physiotherapy in India, where they have no legal professional recognition. The grounded theory constructed posits that the Indian physiotherapists' global mobility is a journey of professional identity transformation that consists of four stages 'forming', 'storming', 'transforming' and 'returning'. Identity formation occurs through professional socialisation during their degree training. 'Storming' occurs as they transition into work and experience a disjuncture between their nascent physiotherapy identity and the workplace role expectations. This leads to frustration as they aspire to autonomous practice and an autonomous professional identity; they hear that physiotherapy is different overseas. Transformation occurs through overseas professional development and experience of autonomous practice. Successful return to India is dependent upon returnees transferring and integrating their new professional identity back to the Indian physiotherapy context.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Gordon, Margaret
Thesis advisor - Parry, Anne
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Kate Grafton
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2016 16:30
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 11:17

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