Outline of the History of Neurorehabilitation in Denmark: a Sociological Perspective

Mette Ryssel Bystrup, Kristian Larsen, Anette Lykke Hindhede, Hanne Pallesen, Lena Aadal, Marte Feiring


This article unravels the genesis and history of neurorehabilitation (NR) in Denmark in order to understand the transformation that this subfield has undergone since the 1970s and how this is reflected in the present structure. Seen through the lens of Bourdieu’s concept of field and based on a document review strategy of historical sources and political documents the article constructs three analytic periods: 1. the genesis of NR until the first half of the 1980s, 2. the institutionalization of NR from 1985-2006 and 3. the political restructuring of NR after the local government reform in 2007. Our analysis shows that NR is a multi- and interdisciplinary practice characterized by heterogeneity, although with growing homogeneity in clinical practice due to an increased number of NR institutions, and later political guidelines. We conclude that despite an increased power to psycho-social and comprehensive approaches, biomedical knowledge is still dominant and reflected in doxa.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPraktiske Grunde: Nordisk tidsskrift for kultur- og samfundsvidenskab
Issue number3-4
Pages (from-to)5-28
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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