Negotiating social differences and power geometries among healthcare professionals in a Swiss hospital

Ammann, Carole; Mall, Julia; Richter, Marina; Thieme, Susan (2020). Negotiating social differences and power geometries among healthcare professionals in a Swiss hospital. Gender, Place and Culture, pp. 1-23. Routledge 10.1080/0966369X.2020.1847047

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In this article, we analyse two parallel processes taking place in the Swiss healthcare sector, namely differentiation and standardisation: On one hand, the health sector is increasingly characterised by differentiation that originates from the specialisation of training, the differentiation and academisation of nursing, the feminisation of medicine, the migration of healthcare personnel, and the entry of men into nursing professions. In addition, a new generation joining the health sector labour force is challenging taken-for-granted notions about health professions. On the other hand, healthcare organisations such as hospitals need to ensure they are functioning well by increasingly relying on standardisation processes such as checklists, standardised protocols, or ethical guidelines. For this paper, we have conducted an institutional ethnography of a Swiss acute hospital by employing an intersectional analysis. Based on interviews and shadowing, we argue that the social differences between and among nurses and physicians are constantly negotiated every day. We demonstrate that those differences lead to power imbalances along the intersectional axes of age, gender, place of education, and professional position. Our findings have implications for general debates in health-related fields; for management and organizational studies more in general; and in particular for feminist labour geographies, as they place debates on work-relations, power, hierarchy, and intersectional social differences into a specific organizational and spatial context.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability > Unit Critical Sustainability Studies (CSS)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Mall, Julia and Thieme, Susan

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISSN:

0966-369X

Publisher:

Routledge

Language:

English

Submitter:

Melina Gabriela Weiss

Date Deposited:

22 Jan 2021 16:17

Last Modified:

22 Jan 2021 16:17

Publisher DOI:

10.1080/0966369X.2020.1847047

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Healthcare, hospital, intersectionality, social differences, Switzerland, workplace

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/148806

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/148806

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