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Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 141–163 | Cite as

The sociocultural context of nursing in Japan

  • Susan Orpett Long
Article

Abstract

Both by the standards of American nurses and in the eyes of the Japanese public, nurses in Japan appear subservient. In this paper I explore this situation from three perspectives. Most Japanese nurses lack a sense of professionalism which the nursing elite in Japan as well as sociological theory attributes to the low educational levels of the nurses. The second perspective investigates the nurses' functional role as intermediary between the medical world and the many patients who regard physicians as socially distant. Thirdly, Japanese nurses might be considered the “housewives” of the hospital in terms not only of their physical duties but also of their caretaking role. If the housewife analogy holds, the values, behavior, and attitudes that give Japanese housewives their satisfaction and their autonomy would considerably alter the role of the nurse in the delivery of cosmopolitan medical care.

Keywords

Medical Care Educational Level Functional Role Sociological Theory Sociocultural Context 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Orpett Long
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anthropology and SociologyWestern Illinois UniversityUSA

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