Paper Title: For love or money: Commodification and the construction of an occupational mandate
Nelsen spent eleven months as a participant-observer in four Emergency Medical Services (EMS) groups. She was trained as an EMS worker, and went on dozens of emergency response calls. She also interviewed a number of medical professionals (e.g. nurses, doctors) as well as firefighters and police officers who interacted with EMS workers.
After setting the theoretical stage (see below), Nelsen and Barley recount the history of EMS work. Volunteer EMS squads began to appear in the late '50s and it was only by the '90s that communities began relying on a mix of volunteers and professionals. A federal act in '73 recommended standardized training and certification for EMS workers, but made no requirement regarding their compensation (or lack thereof). There was therefore no preexisting social structure (law, in this case) that EMS workers could appeal to in order to justify and propagate their frame on their work.