AbstractThis paper argues that professional regulatory frameworks are shaped by sociocultural factors and prevailing ideologies that stem from society’s interactions with and expectations of the regulated professions. Taking a century of Irish nursing and midwifery regulation as a case reflection, the paper highlights five regulatory pivot points to provide a historical narrative of how adopting a sociocultural perspective can enlighten our understanding of the current regulatory form. A form that in early twenty-first-century Ireland resulted in the establishment of a professionally contentious, non-professional (lay) majority on the regulatory board for these frontline professions. The paper concludes by suggesting that when viewed through a sociocultural lens, regulatory change is to be expected. As prevailing ideologies change, power, influence and cultures alter to support and reinforce the new ideology. Professional regulation thereby becomes reflective of society’s views on professionalism and professional identity, drawing on society’s historical experiences of the professions.
Administration – de Gruyter
Published: Aug 1, 2021
Keywords: Professional regulation; nursing and midwifery; Ireland; sociocultural perspective; ideology