Betydelsen av kön och hudfärg i äldreboendets vardag under olika organisatoriska villkor

Sammanfattning: Even though nursing home care in Sweden and Canada takes place in different care contexts and utilizes different organisational models, in both countries, the traditional image of an ideal care worker is characterized by femininity and whiteness. However, today, in both countries, the care workforce is becoming far more diverse, with increasing numbers of white men, and non-white women and men.The overarching aim of this thesis is to study the meaning of gender and skin colour in the everyday life in Swedish and Canadian nursing homes. The study, based on observations and interviews, focuses on how organizational conditions contribute to creating, maintaining and challenging notions of gender and skin colour.The thesis consists of four articles, analysing the following questions:How is gender, in interaction with ethnicity and sexuality, expressed by women and men care workers in a Swedish nursing home? How do organizational conditions shape and influence men’s positions and their possibilities to be integrated and accepted as care workers in two Canadian nursing homes characterized by different care models?  How do organizational conditions impact on care workers’ strategies to handle skin colour, racism and language problems in Swedish and Canadian nursing homes characterized by different scope for care workers to exercise discretion? How do non-white men born outside Europe describe their experiences of working in Swedish nursing homes, and what does it mean for them to have a body that differs from the traditional image of a care worker?Overall, the findings demonstrate that an interaction of gender and skin colour shapes the workers’ experiences and position in the everyday life of care. The most profound impact is on those who deviate the most from the normative care worker, non-white men care workers. Significantly, the results also show that the ability for the organization to handle diversity is highly dependent on whether or not the workers are able to exercise discretion in their daily work. If these organizational conditions do not exist, there is a high risk that men and non-white workers will be seen as problematic by both co-workers and residents.In order to mitigate these risks and manage the increasing diversity of those working in nursing homes, it is essential to recognize the importance of organizational conditions that can create and ensure acceptance and integration of care workers from diverse backgrounds. Therefore, questions about gender and skin colour must be recognized as a priority for management, an organizational matter that should not be left to the individual or the work group to handle.

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