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Gender Aspects of Reproduction of Professional Dynasties in Medicine

Gender Aspects of Reproduction of Professional Dynasties in Medicine

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 13 (no. 3),

The number of female health workers is predominant in the current health care system. However, in terms of the distribution of power and authority, career trajectories, and the culture of relationships, medicine still remains gender-related to men. Reproduction processes of the professional structure of medicine, in which professional dynasties occupy a special place, is also marked by gender differences. Thus, the article addresses the gender specificities of the institutional reproduction of medical dynasties in modern Russia. Based on in-depth interviews with twenty representatives of multigenerational families of doctors from ten cities, gender scenarios for the transmission of professional positions and the gender specificity of using the social and symbolic capital of the dynasty in the context of their reproduction are analyzed. According to the empirical research findings, the dynastic model of marital status transfer maintains and reproduces gender inequality in the medical profession. There is low gender sensitivity in doctors’ dynasties, where women are more likely to be passive or under family pressure to pursue educational and work tracks. The choice of professional specialization is conditioned by gender stereotypes. Career and professional opportunities of women doctors are limited by an imbalance between work and home responsibilities. Dynasty social and symbolic capital investment strategies are less resourceful for women in clinical practice and more effective in academic medicine. The deconstruction of the traditional gender display in the profession is proceeding at a slow pace, while medical dynasties continue to rather reproduce the inequality and male ethics of the medical profession.


Keywords: professional dynasties; medicine; gender organizations; doctors; social capital; transmission; gender inequality

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