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Närvarande, men sjuk.: En kvalitativ studie om socialsekreterares upplevelser av sjuknärvaro.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2016 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Present, but sick. : A qualitative study of social workers experiences of sickness presenteeism. (English)
Abstract [en]

Media, trade unions and politicians have during the last years described social workers untenable work situation, and research shows that social workers are using strategies as sickness presence to deal with the imbalance between demands and resources. There is an interest in deepening knowledge of the phenomenon of sickness presence among social workers and to analyze the underlying causes that lead to the fact that social workers attend work while they are sick. The purpose of my study is to broaden knowledge for sickness presenteeism among social workers. I wanted to contribute to a better understanding of sickness presenteeism as phenomenon by analyzing social workers experience and wanted my study to focus on detailed descriptions of situations, events and feelings. Therefore I used a qualitative approach and based my study on individual interviews with 11 social workers. The social workers who chose to participate in the interviews are all women. I found several common strategies in the social workers descriptions, which were organized into three themes: loyalty, economy and resignation. The analysis was based on two different kinds of perspectives: one focusing on power and the other focusing on gender. The result shows that sickness presenteeism among social workers can be understood as a result of their attempt to live up to the prevailing male norms in society through paid work and to support the family, while they at the same time is expected to live up to the traditional image of ”a good girl" who prioritize the needs of others before her own health. The needs of others can appear in the form of, for example; clients, colleagues, family finances or the organization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
sickness presenteeism, social workers, power, gender
Keyword [sv]
sjuknärvaro, socialsekreterare, makt, genus
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-54180OAI: diva2:942077
Subject / course
Social Work
Available from: 2016-06-28 Created: 2016-06-23 Last updated: 2016-06-28Bibliographically approved

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