Emotioner i Arbete : En studie av vårdarbetares upplevelser av arbetsmiljö och arbetsvillkor

Sammanfattning: The aim of this work is to understand, from a perspective of sociology of emotions, how employees within the health care sector experience their working environment and the conditions. By analysing how these experiences shape the interviewees’ perceptions of the quality of their working environment, the dissertation also seeks to arrive at an understanding of what the contributing factors are for their choice to either remain in or leave the organizations in which they are employed. This study has been conducted as a qualitative interview study. Vocational categories represented in the study are doctors, nurses, assistant nurses, midwives, and physical therapists. The analysis has employed an abductive approach, in which empirical sensitivity, interpretation, and theory are combined. The interpretative and empirical focus, and the theory used concentrate largely on emotions, and the resulting analysis is, thusly, a contribution within the sociology of emotions. The empirical analysis is organized in three chapters, describing and analysing three main areas: dissatisfaction with public organisations, social embeddedness, and emotional labour. In terms of results the dissertation demonstrates that workplaces undergoing repeated changes without strong support from the staff are experienced as bad, while workplaces where the employees feel affirmed and competent are experienced as good. However, it is not working environment and conditions alone that are meaningful for the interviewees, but so is the balance between work and private life, as well as the balance between social relations in and outside of the workplace. In addition, the emotional culture in workplaces and among colleagues is of crucial importance for the interviewees’ perceptions of their work. It is suggested that this pertains to the fact that health care work constitutes a specific type of emotional labour which, in the dissertation, is described as harbouring work. Hence, more than a matter of working environment and conditions, the interviewees’ experiences depend more upon factors such as the degree of embeddedness in social relationships, the emotional climate in the workplace, and the possibility to form a buffer culture. Moreover, it is these factors that underpin how and why employees choose to remain in or leave their workplaces.