Abstract This article explores the significance of curing and caring competences in physiotherapy education, as well as how curing and caring competences intersect within the professional training of physiotherapy students. The empirical data include participant observations and interviews with students attending skills training in the first year of a bachelor's degree program in Norway. Curing and caring are conceptualized as gender-coded competences. That is, curing and caring are viewed as historical and cultural constructions of masculinities and femininities within the physiotherapy profession, as well as performative actions. The findings illuminate the complexity of curing and caring competences in the skills training of physiotherapy students. Curing and caring are both binary and intertwined competences; however, whereas binary competences are mostly concerned with contextual frames, intertwined competences are mostly concerned with performative aspects. The findings also point to how female and male students attend to curing and caring competences in similar ways; thus, the possibilities of transcending traditional gender norms turn out to be significant in this context. The findings suggest that, although curing somehow remains hegemonic to caring, the future generation of physiotherapists seemingly will be able to use their skills for both caring and curing.
This article explores the gendered importance of sportiness in terms of students' judgments of themselves and their classmates as suitable physiotherapy students. The article is based on observations and qualitative interviews with students attending clinical skills training classes in the first year of a bachelor's degree program in physiotherapy in Norway. The analysis focuses on sportiness as a display of masculinity and is inspired by Connell's concept of multiple masculinities. The findings demonstrate sportiness as a shared common value among students. However, it was also found that there are two main typologies: (1) hyper-sportiness; and (2) ordinary sportiness. Male students judged as possessing hyper-sportiness are acknowledged as particularly suitable physiotherapy students and assume a hegemonic position in the student milieu. Female students who adapt hyper-sportiness have the potential to assume a hegemonic position, but tend not to do so. Female students with an ordinary level of sportiness have no particular problems in being identified as suitable physiotherapy students, whereas male students do encounter such problems. The article demonstrates how physiotherapy students' sportiness is more complex than previously known, particularly concerning differences in how female and male students are acknowledged in terms of perceived suitability as physiotherapy students. Additionally, this work shows a continuity of historical lines with respect to how sportiness is embedded in gender within the physiotherapy profession.
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