In the article, we address the topic of professional cultures and, in particular, of the hybridi-zation process that is affecting health and social care integration practices. Through the presentation of a theoretical model of classification and comparison of the cultural properties of the professions involved in health and social care integration (medical, nursing, social and administrative culture) and the application of the model to an ethnographic case study carried out in Emilia Romagna, we intend to show how hybridization does not only possess involutive characteristics. In the studied field, the process of hybridization of professional cultures is an attempt to interpret the challenge of social and health integration in evolutive terms. Mutual contamination of professional knowledge and skills, promotion of teamwork-based interaction and the development of a pedagogic-promotional relationship with the user create shared value and innovation. The result is a cultural hybrid in which professions are increasingly interconnected and the principles of autonomy and specialization of professions match managerial knowledge, confirming when it has been widely discussed in literature about the consolidation of the new professionalism. The analysis of the empirical study shows how the organization can stimulate hybridization processes when the coordination strategies involve the constant review of organizational processes and paying attention to communicative dynamics and informal aspects that accompany the daily work of professionals.
Keywords: Professional cultures; hybridation; health and social care integration; medical practice; social work; administrative work.