Front-Line Care Providers' Professional Worlds: The Need for Qualitative Approaches to Cultural Interfaces


  • Gui-Young Hong Sumter Children and Families Study



services research, professional culture, organizational culture, cultural interfaces, front-line service provider, psychiatric nurse, qualitative approaches


This paper re-conceives the professional worlds of health and mental health care providers from cultural perspectives and argues that individual providers live (professionally) at the interface between multiple personal, professional, and organizational cultures. It also argues that qualitative methods afford services researchers better opportunities to describe the cultures and characterize their interfaces. A conceptual discussion of psychiatric nurses' professional worlds in the interfaces among nursing and psychiatric medical cultures as well as organizational culture is presented. Qualitative analysis of 25 individual psychiatric nurses' written comments on their professional work and lives in public sector mental health service agencies are discussed. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs010388


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Author Biography

Gui-Young Hong, Sumter Children and Families Study

Gui-Young HONG is Research Associate Professor at Medical University of South Carolina, USA. She received her Ph.D. in social psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her current interests in services research include: culture and women's mental health; poverty, maternal mental health, and child outcomes; and public sector services for sociocultural minorities.




How to Cite

Hong, G.-Y. (2001). Front-Line Care Providers’ Professional Worlds: The Need for Qualitative Approaches to Cultural Interfaces. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 2(3).