Diaspora, dispute and diffusion: Bringing professional values to the punitive culture of the Poor Law
From the 1870s to the 1920s Poor Law institutions in England developed from destinations of last resort to significant providers of health-care. As part of this process a general professionalisation of Poor Law work took place. The change was facilitated by wider social, philosophical and political influences in nineteenth century England. The introduction of trained nurses in to the Poor Law was part of a diaspora of both ideas and people from voluntary institutions and organisations. Unrecognised in 1834, nurses eventually became the most numerous class of workhouse officers. This was not accomplished without dispute and acrimony. As a group and as individuals nurses were often at the centre of disputes. Utilising a social history framework and drawing on contemporary written sources, including Poor Law and nursing journals, this paper highlights the role played by Poor Law nurses in the diffusion of values and attitudes that helped to transform the workhouse regime from one of punishment to therapy.
Kirby, S. (2004). Diaspora, dispute and diffusion: Bringing professional values to the punitive culture of the Poor Law. Nursing Inquiry, 11(3), 185-191. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1800.2004.00221.x
|Journal Article Type||Review|
|Publication Date||Sep 1, 2004|
|Peer Reviewed||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Keywords||professionalisation, history of nursing, poor law nursing|