The subject of the thesis is work-oriented rehabilitation of people on long-term sick-leave. The overall aim of my thesis is to:
- analyse work-oriented rehabilitation as a gender theoretical phenomenon.
- analyse how this phenomenon is expressed, maintained and changed on a societal, authority and individual level.
The specific aims of the different reports were:
I) to analyse the collaboration between the different authorities taking part in local rehabilitation groups, the results from these groups, as well as how the clients experienced the groups
II) to analyse the situation of these clients some years after completed rehabilitation.
III) to analyse gender related differences in rehabilitation.
IV) to analyse factors in the rehabilitation process of importance for gender related differences in rehabilitation as well as the attitudes to gender constructions among clients and rehabilitation administrative staff.
V) to give a broader context to the study of rehabilitation as gender theoretical, in which work rehabilitation as well as gender are constructed.
Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used in the first and second study. Study number three and four used qualitative methods. The fifth study consisted of a literature review on womens work and gender related to illness.
The studies of local rehabilitation groups (I, II) revealed that it was more common for male social services workers to formulate concrete decisions regarding work or training for male clients, which can be interpreted as long-term ill men are the first chosen to be helped. The results of the third investigation. Rehabilitation for men?y highlighted the gender related differences in long-term illness and rehabilitation. The rehabilitation staff seemed to adopt a gender-neutral or equality-based position in relation to themselves, their clients and the world around. In spite of that, women were sometimes considered more difficult to rehabilitate because of their responsibility for unpaid work and care in their homes. In the study, "Women's private burden the conceptions of the clients' and rehabilitation staff of the meaning of gender in relation to long-term illness and rehabilitation were divided into three groups. I chose to call the first group androgynous since the interviewees, only men held the position that gender was meaningless. In the second group the meaning of gender was related to the primary responsibility for paid and unpaid work and the division of labour was according to gender. The third group is represented by rehabilitation staff who held the position that gender had meaning on a structural level, in the labour market and in rehabilitation, and the system worked in such a way that women were unfairly treated. The shaping of social insurance is gender-neutral - there are neither men nor women but rather "the insured". But gender neutrality produces paradoxical results since it overlooks the fact that men and women do not live in an equal society. The lack of conformity between ideals and reality is found in, amongst other contexts, services provided for rehabilitation and long-term illness.
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1997. , 79 p.