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‘Male’ficence or ‘Miss’-understandings? Exploring the Relationship Between Gender, Young Healthcare Professionals, Social Media, and Professionalism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender, Age and Inequality in the Professions
Subtitle of host publicationExploring the Disordering, Disruptive and Chaotic Properties of Communication
EditorsMarta Choroszewicz, Tracey L Adams
Publisher or commissioning bodyRoutledge
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781351052467
ISBN (Print)9780815358572
DateAccepted/In press - 29 Oct 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 13 Mar 2019
DatePublished (current) - 14 Mar 2019

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Gender and Organizations
PublisherRoutledge/Taylor and Francis


This chapter considers the role that social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, can play in raising awareness of the gender inequality that defines the organisation of healthcare and the healthcare professions. The discourse of healthcare professionalism assumes that, in conjunction with the feminisation of the profession, healthcare practitioners are best considered as gender-neutral actors who work in predominately inclusive workplaces. This chapter uses a digital feminist approach to challenge this assumption and identifies two cases from social media, the Dalhousie University Facebook incident and the #ILookLikeASurgeon hashtag movement, to argue that gender discrimination is an active feature of the healthcare profession, for students and early career professionals alike. It is contended that the expressive and participatory nature of social media can be recognised as playing a positive role in raising the issue of gender inequality within and beyond the profession. This chapter also includes some recommendations for how to transform this gender awareness into sustainable change.



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