The meeting of cultured worlds: professional identification in Indian postgraduate physiotherapy students

HOROBIN, Hazel (2016). The meeting of cultured worlds: professional identification in Indian postgraduate physiotherapy students. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Abstract

This research aims to provide a more detailed understanding of transnational professional education. In doing so it develops current critical perspectives of physiotherapy, focussing on issues of internationalisation. The impetus for the research was my concern for the relevance of a Masters’ degree for Indian physiotherapists studying at an English university when their future working lives lie in India. I interviewed six Indian students during the dissertation phase of their study. The research methodology is formed using a bricolage approach, one that synthesises aspects of phenomenological (Wertz, 2011) and constructivist grounded theory (Charmaz, 2014). Since becoming a professional is synonymous with developing an ‘identity’, I interpret participant professional identification constructions and working cultures in different national contexts using a theoretical perspective drawn from Holland et al., (2001). This provides an ethnographic understanding of participants’ cultural practices and illuminates the cultured worlds of both physiotherapy practice and its teaching in the course as well as their agency within different national contexts. I show professional work to be suffused with meanings and reveal the interplay of cultural and symbolic capital between patient and physiotherapist (Bourdieu 1986). Different professional, cultural practices can be seen to hold similar meanings and the centrality of the engagement between patient and therapist is exposed. Wider practice contexts (structural, social and political issues) shape the power relations concomitant to physiotherapy, and thereby strongly influence its practice in different locations. I also expose a hegemonic discourse within course teaching, expressed in participants’ narratives of rejection of previous Indian practice, notwithstanding their recognition of the limitations within an Indian context of the practice taught. Critical race theory suggests this forms an example of an oppressive pedagogy (Ladson-Billings and Tate IV, 1995). Although participants describe an increase in self-confidence from studying abroad, paradoxically, I argue that some loss of confidence is likely to result from these unintentional positionings. Further I contend that part of the ethical responsibility of teaching is that it is respectful of different perspectives (Carroll and Ryan 2007). This is particularly important when working with international students, where the student’s home context may be difficult for tutors to comprehend.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2016 09:56
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2016 14:37
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11855

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