Prestige Hierarchies and Relations of Dominance Among Healthcare Professionals

  • Anette Lykke Hindhede
  • Kristian Larsen


The aim of our study was to determine the degree to which prestige ranking follows a logic of social recognition that transcends health professional group boundaries. Based on a previous cross-sectional survey, in which 605 health professionals ranked 19 diseases and 17 specialties, this paper draws on data from 25 in-depth interviews with nurses, doctors and nursing/medical students with the objective to understand to what degree each of the four groups dissociates themselves from the prestige ranking demonstrated in the survey. We found that all groups have similar perceptions of prestige. However, while doctors and nurses defend the hierarchy of specialisations in medicine, medical students and nursing students to a greater degree challenge the status quo. This has no real impact, as their dissenting opinions are articulated from positions defined by their rank in the distribution of capital. Therefore, these positions cannot significantly threaten the stability of the healthcare field.


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How to Cite
Hindhede, A. L., & Larsen, K. (2020). Prestige Hierarchies and Relations of Dominance Among Healthcare Professionals. Professions and Professionalism, 10(2).