Occupational Identities and Physical Exertion in (re)configurations of New Technologies in Eldercare

Keywords: Health, Working Environment & Wellbeing, Innovation & Productivity, Identity, Meaning & Culture, Organization & Management

Abstract

New technologies are perceived as a solution to the rising proportion of people requiring elderly care across the Nordic countries. Implementing technologies has unforeseen consequences for the content of work and the working environment. This interview-based study within Danish elderly care investigates the consequences of physical exertion for the work and occupational identities of care workers. Through analytical framework integrating positioning theory and agential realism, the study shows that new technologies in certain constellations may further synergies between the reduction of physical exertion and occupational identities, and in others may harm this relation. The study contributes to empirical knowledge about implementing technologies and to discussions of moral literacy and workarounds within care work by suggesting that the ability to openly judge and question physical and ethical consequences of employing technologies is a valuable competence for care workers and, in addition, that furthering these competences is a challenge for managers and legislators.

Author Biographies

Jeppe Zielinski Nguyen Ajslev, The National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen

Senior researcher. E-mail: jza@nfa.dk

Helene Højbjerg, The National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen

Research assistant

Malene Friis Andersen, The National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen

Post doc.

Lars Louis Andersen, The National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen

Professor

Otto Melchior Poulsen, The National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen

Retiree head of research

Published
2019-12-11
How to Cite
Ajslev, J., Højbjerg, H., Andersen, M., Andersen, L., & Poulsen, O. (2019). Occupational Identities and Physical Exertion in (re)configurations of New Technologies in Eldercare. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 9(4). https://doi.org/10.18291/njwls.v9i4.117778
Section
Articles