Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: A sociological analysis of general practice organisation and the doctors' professional attitudes and activities
Author: Bridgstock, M. W.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1978
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis formulates and tests a theory of how professions are structured, and how they influence their members. Using sociological theories from a range of sources a theory is derived which relates many aspects of general practice organisation and activity. The overall structure may be seen as pyramidal. From a central elite, it is argued, radiate networks of information and influence. The elite's influence is strongest upon those professionals in most direct contact with it, and vice versa. A range of factors influence a professional's position in the structure. General practitioners as a category are likely to be fairly remote from the elite - on the periphery - but other factors play a part too. Geographical position, practice organisation, and orientation are shown to be important. So too are the doctor's own social characteristics. Using the theory, these factors can be related to many aspects of the general practitioner's work. The doctors upon whom the theory was tested were a cohort of general practitioners, all of whom started work in one year in England and Wales. Information was collected by questionnaire, and also from prescribing data furnished by the DHSS. Using the theory, attributes of both doctors and practices were related to many aspects of their working lives. Doctors with attributes predisposing them to be on the professional periphery move into practices with similar effects and there practice a type of medicine remote from the ideas of the professional elite. Generally the relationships discovered support the theory. However, anomalies did occur, especially regarding female doctors, who seem to conform closely to professional norms while being outside positions of influence. Linear flow graph techniques are used to distinguish real from apparent effects, and also to predict future trends. Finally, the theory is refined and discussed in terms of implications for professional theory and behaviour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available