Being There No Matter What: Working in Publicly Provided Homecare Services




Health, Working Environment & Wellbeing, Gender, Ethnicity, Age and Diversity, Organization & Management


The aim of this article is to critically explore how formal and informal work practices interplay with gender in the shaping of homecare service’s work environments. An ethnomethodological view on doing gender is applied in combination with theories about challenges in relational work.The material is drawn from two projects represented by (i) a cooperative inquiry about Swedish homecare service’s work environments, with homecare service workers and first-line mangers (seven included in this article) and (ii) six semi-structured interviews with employees from a national work environment authority. The analytic procedure was qualitatively based using an abductive approach when looking for cohesive themes. Gendered organizational shortcomings that interplayed with the shaping of the work environments were lack of clear work descriptions, boundaries for work, resources for embodied work, and limited knowledge about risk assessment in relational work.

Author Biographies

Annika Vänje, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Assoc. professor, Division for Ergonomics. E-mail:

Karin Sjöberg Forssberg, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Ph.lic, Division for Ergonomics. E-mail:


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How to Cite

Vänje, A., & Forssberg, K. S. (2021). Being There No Matter What: Working in Publicly Provided Homecare Services. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 11(3).