The allied health professions have gained legitimacy through the pursuit of research evidence and the standardisation of practice. Yet there remains very little analysis or understanding of these professions. Adopting theory from the sociology of health professions, this unique text explores the sociological, economic, political and philosophical pressures that have shaped the professions. Drawing on case studies and examples from occupations including optometrists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists to emerging vocations, including pedorthists and allied health assistants, this book offers an innovative comparison of allied health professions in Australia and Britain. By telling the story of their past, this original book prepares the allied health professions for a new and different future.