The Power to Care

  • Ron Iphofen
  • Fiona Poland


One of our main aims is to increase health professionals’ awareness of what power they have or can gain access to and to consider how that power might best be used in the interests of their clients. In this chapter we show how the distribution and exercise of power affects the visibility and the value given to different forms of health care work.


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Further reading

  1. Benner, P. (1984) ‘Excellence and power in clinical nursing practice’, Chapter 14, pp. 207–20 in Benner, P. Prom Novice to Expert: Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice, California: Addison-Wesley. A readable, competent political analysis of the health carer’s role.Google Scholar
  2. Brandon, D. (1991) Direct Power: A Handbook on Service Brokerage, Preston: Tao Publications.Google Scholar
  3. Useful for understanding emerging power relationships in health and social care provision.Google Scholar
  4. Hart, N. (1985) The Sociology of Health and Medicine, Ormskirk: Causeway Press, Chapters 3, 6 and 7. Easy to read on power in health systemsGoogle Scholar
  5. Serving, R. (1996) Theorising Empowerment: Individual Power and Community Care, Bristol: The Policy Press. Looks further at most of the issues raised in this chapter.Google Scholar
  6. Turner, B.S. (1987) Medical Power and Social Knowledge, London: Sage. Frames all medical sociology in terms of the understanding of power relationships.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ron Iphofen and Fiona Poland 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ron Iphofen
  • Fiona Poland

There are no affiliations available

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