Proliferations and Vulnerabilities: Hybridization of Professionalism in the Field of Cancer Medicine
In cancer medicine, particularly in drug research and development, structural changes in professionalism can be observed as examples. This field is characterized by a strong tension between social expectations concerning the control of existential risks to health, on the one hand, and strong commercial interests of a shareholder value-driven industry, on the other hand. Based on a qualitative empirical analysis, two subfields within the field of cancer medicine are reconstructed. One of these subfields—colon cancer therapy—could be interpreted as representing a renewal of the knowledge-power nexus. The pattern of the other subfield—brain tumour research—refers to a much more vulnerable professionalism. Both fields are characterized by development in professional work, which could be described with the hybridization concept. Therefore, the contrast between the two empirical examples presented still challenges the theoretical interpretation of contemporary professionalism.
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