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“We’re not supposed to work with ICT—we’re supposed to work with the clients”: Home health aides in Sweden using loyalty as resistance
University West, Department of Nursing, Health and Culture, Division of Health and Culture. (Lärande i och för det nya arbetslivet (LINA))
2011 (English)In: Journal of Workplace Rights, ISSN 1938-4998, E-ISSN 1938-5005, Vol. 15, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this article is to shed light on informal resistance among home health aides in Sweden. Although they endure stressful working conditions, down-sizing, and management-initiated changes that are in some cases considered irrelevant and even stupid, surprisingly few formal resistance actions are carried out by home health workers in Sweden. This doesn’t mean that they (and other workers too) are passive victims of management power; nor does it mean that they are free riders acting only according to their self-interest. Their resistance strategies are characterized by divided loyalties and competing interests rather than conscious and rational choice. The results of this study show that the home health aides do not engage in formal resistance even though they are unionized and have the opportunity of collective action; instead they engage in informal resistance. The main reason for their informal resistance, I argue, is the loyal attitude and loyal way of thinking and acting that is embedded in their professional identity. It holds them back and hinders them from expressing resistance in a loud manner. At the same time,their loyalty can also be considered as a form of resistance when they use it in a selective manner as a way of creating scope for action.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Baywood Publishing Company, Inc., 2011. Vol. 15, no 2
Keyword [en]
resistance, power, loyalty, employee rights, competence, home help services, home help aides, ICT, ethnography
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Pedagogics; Work Integrated Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-3956OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-3956DiVA: diva2:471978
Available from: 2012-01-03 Created: 2012-01-03 Last updated: 2015-10-14Bibliographically approved

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