THE EFFECTS OF STATUS DIFFERENTIATION ON SOCIAL IDENTITY FOR NURSES IN JAPAN
 
Matsuzaki, T. and Michiko, H., Japan Women's University, Japan
 
There are two kinds of registered nurse due to different educational background in Japan@One is regular nurse group, the other is practical nurse group. Although practical nurses are differentiated from regular nurses for small pay or few chances of promotion, they perform the parity of workload, similar works and accountability in many medical facilities. These injustice have been serious problem. In a field study based on two nurse groups, applying social identity theory, we investigated how status difference in two groups affect their social identities and out-group perceptions. Also, for low status (practical nurse) group, we focused on how they cope with a negative in-group status position. 200 regular nurses and 165 practical nurses completed a questionnaire including importance and subjective characteristics attributed to the groups, perception of permeability, and so on. The results showed that regular nurses favored the in-group in all characteristics of nurse's works (practical skills, medical knowledge and contact with patients) and were more discriminatory towards out-group than practical group. On the other hand, practical nurses did not differentiate from regular nurses on practical skill and contact with patients. Furthermore, the experienced nurses in practical group established a favorable in-group evaluation. For to cope with unfavorable in-group status, practical nurses who perceived group boundaries as low permeability evolved inter-group relationship in the super-ordinate categorization (nurse category) and re-evaluation of inter-group relation.