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Speaking about social suffering?: Subjective understandings and lived experiences of migrant women and therapists
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013). Landstinget i Värmland.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to investigate and illuminate lived experiences, cultural representations, and organizational conditions that influence the way therapists in Swedish psychiatry receive and treat migrant women. This overall aim is pursued through two distinct but interlinked part-studies. The aim of the first of these is to examine migrant women’s perceptions of mental (ill-) health along with their actual experiences of therapy in Swedish psychiatry. The aim of the second part is to describe and explain how therapists, in their organizational work conditions, interpret and experience their professional encounters with migrant women.  

The thesis is based on qualitative interviews with twelve migrant women and eleven therapists in psychiatry.

The result show that the migrant women experience health and mental health through a sense of belonging. Non-belonging, isolation and estrangement will point to the other direction i.e. not having health. The migrant women may gain a sense of belonging to society through therapy. However there are also obstructions on this path to belonging.

The therapists, in psychiatry, seeing migrant women are doing emotion work comparable to physical labor. As the production is expected to increase due to marketing principles it puts a demand of acceleration on the therapists emotion work. They, thus have to find strategies to manage their emotion work. Everyday resistance thus becomes a way to gain emotional energy and to avoid emotional numbing and burnout. It is also gives openings to be content with their work with their patients and thereby to be able to offer an adequate reception of migrants into treatment in psychiatry.

The thesis contributes to the gap in research by focusing on the borderlands between migrant women’s lived experiences of social suffering and the receiving therapists’ possibility to meet their migrant patients’ request.

Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to investigate and illuminate lived experience and organizational conditions that influence the way therapists in Swedish psychiatry receive and treat migrant women. This overall aim is divided into two separate but interlinked part-studies. The main body of the thesis is based on interviews with migrant women as well as therapists in psychiatry. The result show that the migrant women are searching for belonging in the host society. One way of searching for belonging is through therapy in psychiatry. However the work pace in health care and psychiatry is increasing and the therapists are struggling with giving a decent reception of migrants. In order to manage the heavy emotion work the therapists oppose the accelerating work pace by doing resistance in their everyday work. This thesis contributes to gap in research on the borderlands between lived experiences of social suffering odf migrant women as well as the lived experiences of the work conditions that make it possible to care for another person

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2016. , p. 122
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2016:52
Keyword [en]
migrant women, social suffering, belonging, emotions, health therapist psychiatry, emotion work, everyday resistance
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-47269ISBN: 978-91-7063-737-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-47269DiVA, id: diva2:1049957
Public defence
2017-01-13, 11 D 121, Andersalen, Karlstad, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-12-22 Created: 2016-11-23 Last updated: 2018-04-26Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. ’Like a white crow’: Migrant women and their emotion work in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>’Like a white crow’: Migrant women and their emotion work in Sweden
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, ISSN 1740-8938, E-ISSN 1740-8946, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 229-245Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This interview study explores the emotion work carried out by migrant women in the process of their integration into present-day Swedish society. In considering these women’s accounts and experiences of their emotion work, the analytical focus in the article is on the ways in which emotional negotiation may become part of an integration process that provides an opportunity to both change and blend in. Drawing upon Reddy’s (2001) concept of emotional regimes and Hochschild’s (1983) notion of emotion work, the argument centres on the creation and key role of ’alien habitus’, a concept addressing the formation and performance of the migrant self in the new context and describing an ability to feel part of the host society without losing one’s sense of a coherent inner self.

Keyword
migrant women, integration, emotion work
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-43899 (URN)10.1504/IJWOE.2013.055903 (DOI)2-s2.0-84882996695 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-06-30 Created: 2016-06-30 Last updated: 2018-04-26Bibliographically approved
2. Organisering av tid och emotioner i psykiatrin
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Organisering av tid och emotioner i psykiatrin
2016 (Swedish)In: Arbetsmarknad & Arbetsliv, ISSN 1400-9692, Vol. 22, no 1, p. 27-41Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

Att arbeta med migranter i psykiatrin innebär ett krävande emotionsarbete som tar tid och reflektion i anspråk. I en organisation där produktionen ständigt förväntas öka kan patient och lidande bli en marknadsekonomisk entitet som behandlare ska hantera i ett ökande tempo. Som följd av denna acceleration måste behandlare hitta strategier för att undvika att dräneras på emotionell energi.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2016
National Category
Work Sciences
Research subject
Working Life Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-45775 (URN)
Available from: 2016-09-06 Created: 2016-09-06 Last updated: 2017-08-10Bibliographically approved
3. Migrant women's negotiation of belonging through therapeutic relationships
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Migrant women's negotiation of belonging through therapeutic relationships
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, ISSN 1747-9894, E-ISSN 2042-8650, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 41-54Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore experiences and emotions of migrant women, who have been in psychotherapy in Sweden, their motives and experience of being treated in psychotherapy. The authors argue that not only traumas of the past but also social suffering in the post-migratory phase contribute to what brought them in contact with psychiatric care. Design/methodology/approach Narrative interviews with 12 migrant women, holding permanent residence permits, were conducted. The interviews were loosely structured around themes such as the experience of migration, of everyday living in Sweden, experiences of Swedish psychiatric care, and reflections and understandings of mental and physical health/ill health. Interview transcripts were analyzed thematically using abductive qualitative text analysis. Findings In the narratives an overarching motive for seeking out psychiatric help is the search for belonging and restoring a cohesive sense of self. Belonging is sought both in symbolic terms - formal access and right to health care - and in a deeper emotional sense as the therapist becomes a local adviser. The therapeutic encounter meets the human desire to be seen and confirmed as the person you are, and need to be, in the new host society. Meanwhile, psychotherapy as a way to negotiate belonging is also a risky endeavor, as the idealized view of the therapeutic relation may be disappointed. Research limitations/implications This study provides the interviewed migrant women's perception of the psychotherapeutic relationship. Yet this relationship needs to be elaborated from different perspectives to improve understanding of psychotherapy in psychiatric care. Originality/value The paper fills a gap in research concerning the dominance of the psychiatric discourse over subjective understandings of health and illness, and how this relates to emotions of social suffering in the case of migrant women.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2018
Keyword
s Belonging, Emotions, Social bonds, Migrant women, Psychiatric care, Social suffering
National Category
Health Sciences Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-66782 (URN)10.1108/IJMHSC-12-2016-0043 (DOI)000426531700004 ()
Available from: 2018-03-22 Created: 2018-03-22 Last updated: 2018-04-26Bibliographically approved
4. Everyday resistance in psychiatry through harboring strategies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Everyday resistance in psychiatry through harboring strategies
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
Emotion work, teamwork versus alone work, health care workers, , harbouring, everyday resistance
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-47284 (URN)
Available from: 2016-11-25 Created: 2016-11-25 Last updated: 2017-06-13

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