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Välfärdspolitik och kvinnoyrken: organisation, välfärdsstat och professionaliseringens villkor
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (CWSG)
2002 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The relationship between the Swedish state’s welfare political commitments and the emergence and development of three female-dominated welfare state occupational groups - nurses, home relief helpers and occupational therapists - is at the heart of this thesis. The primary aim is to study the professional possibilities and limitations created by the state’s welfare political commitments in health care, family policy and rehabilitation.

The thesis emphasises the importance of regarding the state as a historically conditioned actor and as an organisation of organisations. The state is not a unified and static actor and this makes it difficult to speak of the state’s relationship to different welfare occupations in general terms. Nurses, home relief helpers and occupational therapists have encountered the state in different historical contexts and established ties to different parts of the state. Abbott’s (1988) term jurisdiction is used to characterise the area within welfare politics that nurses, home relief helpers and occupational therapists have made claims on or been allotted. The struggle for jurisdiction takes place on three, analytically separate but in reality interconnected arenas. These arenas are the workplace, the media arena and the legal arena. The thesis limits itself to the legal arena, that is, the state’s administrative, planning and legislative structures. At the centre of the analysis of the legal arena are the Swedish Government Commission and the welfare political reform work that to a large degree has been formed by these institutions’ function and work.

An important conclusion from these three case studies is that the state’s welfare political commitments have been central for the emergence of nurses, home relief helpers and occupational therapists and their development into welfare state occupational groups. The state’s welfare political ambitions have contributed considerably to the transformation of nurse, home relief helpers and occupational therapists into modern occupational groups. Dependency on the state has not always been easy to handle however. The state’s welfare political interests have often contradicted the wishes of the professions regarding the content, length and organisation of training programmes, as well as regarding continuing education and licensing. The state has been unwilling to provide more training than deemed necessary from a welfare political perspective. An important conclusion from this study is that it is difficult for welfare state occupational groups to steer their professional project in a direction that falls outside of the state’s welfare political commitments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet , 2002. , 260 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; 25
Keyword [en]
Social service, welfare state, welfare politics, organisation, professions, jurisdiction, female dominated occupations, nurses, occupational therapists, home relief helpers
Keyword [sv]
Socialt arbete
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-28ISBN: 91-7305-170-5OAI: diva2:142938
Public defence
2002-02-02, Umeå, 10:15
Available from: 2002-02-02 Created: 2002-02-02 Last updated: 2011-03-18Bibliographically approved

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