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Title: Tense networks : exploring medical professionalization, career making and practice in an age of global empire, through the lives and careers of Irish surgeons in the Indian Medical Service, c. 1850-1920
Author: Fitzpatrick, Kieran
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 0991
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores the historical relationships between the professionalization of medicine and Britain's Empire across the Indian subcontinent between c. 1850-1920. That relationship is focused on through the lives and careers of Irish surgeons who, over the course of the period, enlisted in the IMS, the GoI's paramilitary medical service. As a result of tracking the networks these men occupied between Ireland and India, professional status emerges as a series of negotiations between the State and the profession, negotiations that were in turn a result of cultural values, social relations and institutional politics. Such a view of professionalization stands in distinction to the predominant narrative authored to date about our period. Within that narrative, occupations that became and maintained professional status did so through cordoning off areas of knowledge in the pursuit of financial gain and socio-political prestige. That approach has fostered assumptions about the ease of relations between States and professions. Furthermore, little has been written about how those relations were shaped, and disrupted, by the dominant polity of the time: global empires. Britain's Empire undoubtedly aided the professionalization of medicine. Our first two chapters highlight how the subjects of this thesis were drawn from a variety of social, cultural and economic backgrounds, whose differences were, to an extent, ameliorated by a growing professionalism in medicine. That professionalism was incubated by the material needs of Britain's Empire, especially in India, which triggered administrative reforms to rationalise entrance requirements to the IMS, and provide potential applicants with a seemingly sure-footed career path. However, life in India for these medical men was not as well administered. Although the GoI required their professional services, politicians and administrators were not as keen to acknowledge their professional status, except for when absolutely necessary to uphold the moral order of imperial rule.
Supervisor: Harrison, Mark Sponsor: Wellcome Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available