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Handle with Care: Staff Experiences of Difficulties working with People with Intellectual Disabilities
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division of Social Pedagogy and Sociology. (BUV)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6202-4196
Umea University, Sweden.
Umea University, Sweden.
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Providing care and support to people with intellectual disabilities (ID) is in several aspects a complex and challenging assignment. It could be argued that this complexity has fundamentally to do with different organizational conditions. Analysing the specfiic characteristics of experienced difficulties could generate a new understanding of the organizational prerequisites of working within intellectual disability services. This presentation examines how LSS administrators (n=70) and habilitation staff (n=40) in Sweden experience difficulties working with people with ID. Drawing upon both quantitative and qualitative data generated from a larger web survey a content analysis was used. In order to complement the qualitative analyses we also used descriptive numerical analyses. The results reveals that staff experiences of difficulties in work with people with ID could be differentiated in four typological themes; (1) Structure, (2) Profession, (3) Relations and (4) Collaboration. As shown in our presentation, experience of difficult situations in human service organizations does not necessarily correspond with work dissatisfaction or unclear goals. On the contrary, we argue that it is a fundamental aspect of professionalism to handle this plurality within a specific organizational context. The different characteristics of the organizations in our study reflect two different institutional logics. While the LSS administrators mainly operates within an administrative logic based on a regulative framework, the habilitation staff are operating within a therapeutic logic based on a cognitive framework. Consequently they have their own specific norms and rule systems, which influence when and to which extent everyday situations are experience and defined as difficult.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Intellectual disabilities, work situation, interaction
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-9650OAI: diva2:951376
5th Annual ALTER-Conference: Inclusion, Participation and Human Rights in Disability Research Comparisons and Exchanges. Stockholm – Sweden, 30 June - 1 July 2016
Available from: 2016-08-08 Created: 2016-08-08 Last updated: 2016-11-15Bibliographically approved

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Molin, Martin
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