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Culture, identity and image in an English hospice: An ethnographic study

Baron, A 2011, Culture, identity and image in an English hospice: An ethnographic study , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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    Abstract

    This study examines the cultural changes found within an English Hospice from its altruistic beginnings to the more professionalized culture of today. The study seeks to understand how its members identify with an organization where issues of life and death take centre stage and explores some of the problems that the Hospice faces regarding its image in society. These strands are then drawn together to consider the interrelationship between organizational culture, identity and image. An ethnographic approach was used including participant observation, extended interviews and group meetings over a period of almost two years. This enabled the production of a nuanced, sensitive and holistic interpretation of the Hospice as inferred from the views of both insiders and outsiders. This fascinating social institution provided a thought-provoking context resulting in a rich seam of data from participants who proved to be perceptive, sensitive and culturally-aware. The findings shed new light on the existing literature enabling a view of culture as a sensemaking context that facilitates group socialization underpinning a sense of personal and organizational identity. The relative inaccessibility of the culture concept in this study implies a view of culture as no more than a rhetorical device - a metaphor for the taken-forgranted social processes of organizing which enables us to ascribe our own set of values to observed behaviour and questions attempts to objectify culture in any meaningful way. Culture seen within this study as a web, an iceberg, as cognitive maps or shared symbols all point towards this inaccessibility. The study suggests a link between culture and group identification making discussions about culture almost inseparable from those around identity. With regard to identity and image however, the study suggests a dynamic and iterative relationship with a continuous flow between interpretation and reinterpretation influenced by the all-pervading cultural context.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Contributors: Sharifi, S(Supervisor)
    Additional Information:
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Business & Law > Salford Business School
    Depositing User: Institutional Repository
    Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 14:34
    Last Modified: 18 Feb 2014 11:42
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/26565

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