Hargreaves, Janet (2011) Alice: woman and nurse, nurse and woman. In: 16th History of Nursing Research Colloquium: Gender and Nurses: Nursing and Gender, 1st April 2011, Glasgow, UK. (Unpublished)

A chance encounter with Alice, a retired nurse, led to a rich life history investigation exploring her journey from school girl to tuberculosis nurse in the 1930s; through nursing in Second World War London; to a lengthily successful career as a nurse educationalist in the north of England. Further interviews with retired nurses from the same generation and documentary analysis were also completed. A feature of their histories is the way in which gender weaves a powerful thread. Manners, behaviour, communication, dress and aspirations are all linked to a gendered image of self.
Julia Hallam Identifies nursing image as having popular, professional and personal elements: using this as a framework to critique the life history, this paper will explore the ways in which gender was used and misused by nursing education and practice to form a particular, controlling, feminised nursing identity. It will argue that historically gender is distorted for example in that femininity is to be conveyed without overt sexuality and motherly caring without any apparent emotional engagement. This dislocation of the emotional and sexual self is part of the socialisation of people into nursing identities.

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