Aspects of intersectionality in migrating physicians’ professional roles – narratives of Polish doctors in Sweden.
2012 (English)In: 8th European Feminist Research Conference May 17-20, 2012 | Budapest, Hungary, 2012Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
In Sweden, there are a growing number of immigrant doctors and Poles are one of the largest non-Scandinavian groups. In our paper, based on in-depth interviews with Polish female and male doctors, we analyse how they narrate the complex process of adapting to the professional role in different national contexts, especially in Poland and Sweden. This process has profound ethnical, class, gender and religious implications. A doctor’s role is not only about “transnational” medical knowledge and skills, but also the more nationally specific social and cultural “capital” and embodied dispositions. In this paper we understand intersectionality as a process of power in the interplay of gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity and religion. Cultural stereotypes, ideas, values and notions – e.g. about professionalism as gender neutral or gender-specific and about Poles and Swedes in general – are interoperating in the interplay of gender, class, ethnicity and religion. Some of these stereotypes, values and notions are complex and contradictory. In a specific context as the Swedish heath care they are always hierarchically ordered and sometimes objects of contestation and negotiation. We focus on the cultural aspects of the social intersectional process.The interviewees tell how migration can create a feeling of de-skilling and confusion, not only due to language problems, but also not knowing the social codes, e.g. the ”right” way of performing class and gender, thus threatening a doctor’s professional status in spite of the acknowledged medical competence. The Swedish professional role is perceived as gender-neutral, very politically correct and with strong focus on emotional control. A “too feminine” way to dress may be considered inappropriate for a female doctor in the Swedish context and cause a loss of status, similarly a too expressive display of impatience or anger. The ”normalisation” of the professional role has profound implications on the doctors’ identity and they tell about a process of both adaptation and resistance to what they perceive as “Swedish” norms and values.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
intersectionality, migration, doctors, professiolan role
Research subject Ethnology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-107922OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-107922DiVA: diva2:849674
8th European Feminist Research Conference www.8thfeministconference.org May 17-20, 2012 | Budapest, Hungary
ProjectsPolish doctors in Sweden
FunderThe Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies