For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Temps professionnel et temps personnel des travailleuses du care: perméabilité ou clivage?. Les aléas de la «bonne distance»"

by Molinier, Pascale (2009)


[Translated from the French] Ergonomic research has long shown that professional and personal times are permeable. Yet, the situation of care workers has seldom been studied from that point of view. Are women who have to cope with the same activities both at work and at home more vulnerable than others? more likely to experience burnout? The author tackles the question, beginning with psychodynamic investigations on nurses. For nurses who are mothers themselves, coping with the illness and death of children is particularly anxiety-ridden. Various defensive behaviours are described and analyzed: remaining emotionally aloof, separating time periods, being militant, finding one’s own children’s complaints unbearable. Such self-protective strategies at disconnecting one’s professional from one’s personal life, a separation that is partly inevitable, but that augments progressively, the price to pay being the loss of the meaning of work. That happens when conditions governing the natural interactions within the team where work-related distress can be collectively expressed have broken down.


Molinier, Sociology, Psychology, Psychodynamics, Care, Care Work, Care As Work, Nurse, Nursing, Female Work, Women'S Work, Gendered Labour, Invisible Skills, Invisible Work, Hospital Work, Medicine, Burnout, Mothering Work, Domestic Labour, Family, Meaning Of Work


Molinier, Pascale, Psychological Centrality of Work

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