Caught in the Crosshairs: Identity and Cultural Authority Within Chiropractic
SOURCE: Soc Sci Med. 2011 (Jun); 72 (11): 1826–1837
Yvonne Villanueva-Russell, Ph.D
Dept. of Sociology,
Texas A&M University-Commerce,
Sociology & Criminal Justice,
TX 75429-3011, USA.
In this paper the discourse over identity and cultural authority within the profession of chiropractic in the United States has been analyzed using critical discourse analysis. As the profession struggles to construct one singular image, versions of self must be internally debated and also shaped in consideration of larger, external forces. The dilemma of remaining tied to a marginal professional status must be balanced against considerations of integration. Written texts from chiropractic journals and newspapers are analyzed in a multidimensional approach that considers the rhetorical devices and thematic issues of identity construction; the representation of various voices within the discourse (both heard and unheard); and the extent to which external pressures affect the projection of cultural authority for the profession. A heterogeneous discourse characterized by conflict was found, with discrepancies between everyday chiropractors in actual practice versus academic chiropractors and leaders particularly over the idea, practice and significance of science for the profession.
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