Kvinnor och män i avlönat omsorgsarbete : Hur kön, etnicitet och sexualitet kommer till uttryck i tal och handling på ett sjukhem

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Stockholms universitet/Institutionen för socialt arbete - Socialhögskolan


The aim of this study was to describe and analyse the constructions and

interplay of gender, ethnicity and sexuality between female and male careworkers

and residents in a nursing home. To explore this from a qualitative

everyday life’s approach, material was collected through participating observations,

interviews, and informal conversation with careworkers and residents.

The result points out that historical patterns of gender and caring related

to this context still matter and affect both careworkers and residents. For

example, female careworkers talked about the concept of caring as a genuine

female experience, while male careworkers, who were in a minority, instead

talked about caring in more gender-neutral words. The result also indicates

that a larger number of male careworkers not necessarily leads to a higher

grade of gender equality. Instead, the presence of male careworkers made the

traditional gender-power order more visible.

When analyzing outcomes of the interplay of gender, ethnicity and sexuality,

it was obvious that this was a complicated process. On one hand this

interplay of different categories seemed to affect female and male careworkers

in a similar way. On the other hand the interplay of gender, ethnicity and

sexuality can confront female and male careworkers with different types of

dilemmas. Therefore, an attempt to understand the position and experience

of being a careworker with non-Swedish background or being a nonheterosexual

careworker must include a gender-perspective.

A main result from the study was that the careworkers supported the residents

to perform their social gender-identity through the daily interactions.

These interactions were foremost influenced by the careworkers’ own expectations

about older women’s and older men’s needs and behaviour. The four

gender-constellations that occurred in the care-interactions also differed

from each other with regard to what careworkers and residents talked about,

and how they talked and acted. Even if the outcome from different types of

gendered meetings differed, there were also some similarities. It was obvious

that both female and male careworkers seemed to think and talk about the

female residents as more dependent and vulnerable than male residents. To

conclude, traditional norms and a gender-power order that influences society

also affects careworkers and residents in the nursing home.


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