The public image of a profession is an important barometer of the group’s status in society. Media images play a key role in this respect, projecting the ideas and values of the group and negotiating shifts in public perception of their identity. This paper focuses on two periods in Britain when shifts in managerial culture resulted in changes in the core values of the group; the introduction of the National Health Service in 1948 and the introduction of the internal market within the NHS in the late 1980s. In both periods, nursing leaders sought to change the public image of the profession through altering their relationship with their patients/clients and reconceptualising notions of service. The focus of analysis is the role of popular film and television images in negotiating these shifts in professional values.
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