Past resources, future envisioning, and present positioning: how women who are medical students at one institution draw upon temporal agency for resistance

Abigail Konopasky*, Tasha R. Wyatt, A. Emiko Blalock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

While women entering medical school are faced with a patriarchal system, they also enter into a community with other women and the potential for resistance. The purpose of this study is to use the theory of temporal agency to explore how first-year medical students who identify as women draw upon past, future, and present agency to resist the patriarchal system of medicine. The data for this study were drawn from the first year (October 2020-April 2021) of a longitudinal project using narrative inquiry to understand the socialization of women students in undergraduate medical education. Fifteen participants performed two interviews and a series of written reflection prompts about their childhood and medical school experiences, each lasting approximately 45 min. Participants’ resistance drew on past resources, recognizing themselves as Other, which contributed to categorically locating themselves as part of a broader resisting community, even outside their institution. They also hypothesized future possibilities as part of resistance, either an ideal future where they would exercise power, or an unchanged one and the hypothetical resolutions they would use to manage it. Finally, they contextualized past and future in the present, identifying problems to make strategic decisions and execute actions. Our creative interweaving of the constructs of temporal agency, communal agency, and resistance allows us to paint a nuanced picture of how these women conceive of themselves as part of a larger group of women amidst the hierarchical, patriarchal structures of medical school while, at times, internalizing these hierarchies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-441
Number of pages17
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agency
  • Gender
  • Medical school
  • Resistance
  • Women

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Past resources, future envisioning, and present positioning: how women who are medical students at one institution draw upon temporal agency for resistance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this