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Title: The discourse of professional identity in child and adolescent mental health services
Author: Baldwin, Laurence James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2684 7226
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2008
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Background: Child and adolescent mental health teams have traditionally been constructed using multidisciplinary teams of different professions. Current workforce policy in mental health, however, stresses team function and the skills and competences required to fulfil that function which leads to a questioning of professional identity within those teams. Aims: This study aims therefore to define how professional identity is constructed in the policy discourse and amongst a sample of current practitioners in mental health teams. Methodology: This study uses a linguistic method, Critical Discourse Analysis, to question whether functional approaches based on role theory are appropriate when identity work discourse has overtaken role theory as a way of thinking about professional working. It uses elements of role theory and identity work thinking, informed by postmodernist theorists such as Pierre Bourdieu, to look at the need for the underlying conceptual frameworks that professional training and socialisation bring. Findings: By analysing the current policy discourse, and a sample of practitioner discourse on the subject, the study shows that there is a need for the professional identity of individuals to be better addressed and understood. It examines the importance of the underlying conceptual frameworks that inform the skills and competences and what these frameworks bring to team functioning. The study also questions the way in which policy uses linguistic capital as a change agent to bring about workforce modernisation in child and adolescent mental health teams. Conclusions: The study highlights the need for professional groups to maintain their professional identity by being better able to articulate the contribution they make to team functioning by virtue of their conceptual frameworks. These are shown to inform the way in which individuals use their skills and competences to care for service users and their carers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: WM Psychiatry