Gender and the Public Sector: Professionals and Managerial Change

By Jim Barry; Mike Dent et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project


Plural frames of work in public sector organisations

Hans Hasselbladh and Martin Selander


This chapter presents a study of the contested status of elderly people and professional work at two nursing homes in Gothenburg. Within Swedish health care, nursing homes have arrived at a crossroads and are confronted with conflicting frames of organisation. The status of professional work and of the elderly has become questioned - a consequence of the recent introduction of new public management (NPM) ideas, especially those relating to customer responsiveness. In 1992 a government reform was implemented, which explicitly defines the elderly living in nursing homes as 'customers', i.e. as consumers of a particular kind of housing and complementary services.

Our chapter raises three aspects of plural frames on the nursing homes. First, the identity of these sites is in flux, as a result of the government reform. Are nursing homes a kind of hospital, or sites for providing care for the very old, or a special kind of housing? Second, the status of the elderly is in a state of redefinition. Are they sick, and to be cured, or are they in a special stage of life with a special need for care, or are they tenants with unusual needs? Finally, the status of professional work is also in a state of change - is it nursing or medical work, or care of elderly people, or service for a particular type of customer? Work in nursing homes is also extremely gendered, as all employees are female. A complex pattern of relations between medicine, care and service as frames of action is presented in this chapter. The competing frames are restricted by an economic frame, which does not intervene in the practices as such but affects them indirectly. The pressure to cut the costs of running nursing homes - which has been very prevalent in the council of Gothenburg - has had an important influence on the emergence of a new balance between the frames of action at the nursing homes.

The chapter is organised as follows. The first section discusses how professions become involved in what we call plural framing - a redundancy of signification of professional work. The second section discusses the framing of professional identity and work and how rationalisation and NPM reforms may influence that. After that follows a background to our case, the reforms of the care for elderly people in Sweden. The frames identified in the case are


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Gender and the Public Sector: Professionals and Managerial Change


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 224

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?