Nurses’ Engagement with Feminist/Poststructuralist Theory: (Im)Possibility, Fear and Hope


  • Sarah Wall University of Alberta


feminist theory, nursing, change


Social theories offer meaningful ways for understanding and connecting to the world and describe the possibilities for changing and influencing the world. However, the difficulty of engaging with the language and assumptions of theory should not go unappreciated. Despite the relevance that feminist/poststructuralist theories have for women and other marginalized groups, these theories can often be excluded from the set of discourses available to and engaged by some of these groups. Nurses are among the groups of women who have not included feminist theories in their approach to understanding the world in which they work. An engagement with feminist theory threatens to painfully disrupt an apparently natural and taken-for-granted perspective on social relationships in nursesââ¬â¢ working environments. Yet, if nurses fail to seek and engage with theoretical perspectives that can open up possibilities, they will be perpetually stymied in their attempts to change their social circumstances. Theory can offer a useful way of giving individual nurses an opportunity to move from what is to what could be.

Author Biography

Sarah Wall, University of Alberta

Doctoral Student Department of Sociology University of Alberta