The limits to public service : rural communities, professional families, and work mobility

Doherty, Catherine, Shield, Paul, Patton, Wendy, & Mu, Guanglun Michael (2015) The limits to public service : rural communities, professional families, and work mobility. Community, Work & Family, 18(1), pp. 100-116.

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Australia faces an ongoing challenge recruiting professionals to staff essential human services in rural and remote communities. This paper identifies the private limits to the implicit service contract between professions and such client populations. These become evident in how private solutions to competing priorities within professional families inform their selective mobility and thus create the public problem for such communities. The paper reports on a survey of doctors, nurses, teachers and police with responsibility for school-aged children in Queensland that plumbed the strength of neoliberal values in their educational strategy and their commitment to the public good in career decisions. The quantitative analysis suggested that neoliberal values are not necessarily opposed to a commitment to the public good. However, the qualitative analysis of responses to hypothetical career opportunities in rural and remote communities drew out the multiple intertwined spatial and temporal limits to such public service, highlighting the priority given to educational strategy in these families’ deliberations. This private/public nexus poses a policy problem on multiple institutional fronts.

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ID Code: 80174
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1080/13668803.2014.953446
ISSN: 1469-3615
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 15 Jan 2015 22:05
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2016 17:03

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