Being a radiographer-A socio-cultural comparative ethnographic study_C Cowling_Redacted.pdf (3.2 MB)

Being a radiographer: A socio-cultural comparative ethnographic study

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posted on 2023-08-30, 00:20 authored by Cynthia Cowling
This study investigates being a radiographer in diverse environments, through the non-technological, lived experiences of radiography work. It examined the socio-cultural factors impacting that practice, so as to determine the recognition of radiography as a profession with potentially global standards of practice. Previous studies had investigated medico-social and technical factors of but none had taken a global, socio-cultural perspective to researching the work of radiographers. The study was undertaken in seven countries, each with varied socioeconomic and cultural dimensions of such work. An ethnographic approach based on a social constructionist paradigm was used to interpret findings from thematic analysis of country-specific policies and scopes of practices, artefacts, fieldwork observation notes, researcher journal and semi-structured interviews with 35 radiographers. Data analysis constructed key concepts that were used to develop individualised country reports: the work of the radiographer, technology, relationships and socio-cultural issues. Hofstede’s (1984) cultural dimensions were used as a further analytic device to describe the culture of each country. The results from the seven country reports were then compared, and three paradoxes emerged in relation to cross-cultural interpretations: technology and humanistic practice; isolation and infiltration; and work culture and country culture. These findings offer insight into the socio-cultural practice of radiography through an ethnographic cultural-specific lens. The study introduced empirical evidence into a subject matter hitherto unexplored in a global comparative manner, and creates an opportunity to improve the recognition of radiographers by creating a foundation of research upon which to build further more targeted studies.



Central Queensland University

Additional Rights

This thesis may be freely copied and distributed for private use and study; however, no part of this thesis or the information contained therein may be included in or referred to in any publication without prior written permission of the author and/or any reference fully acknowledged.

Open Access

  • Yes

Era Eligible

  • No


Professor Bobby Harreveld ; Associate Professor Celeste Lawson

Thesis Type

  • Doctoral Thesis

Thesis Format

  • Traditional