For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Histoire de la vieille bouchère et autres récits. L’autodérision et la création du semblable dans le travail de soin"

by Molinier, Pascale (2015)


[Translated from the French] This paper takes as its starting part a story told by psychiatrist-psychoanalyst Jean Oury which is then explored within the context of similar tales related by carers and in which self-derision plays a central role. These stories illustrate the message that success is generally obtained by transgressing rules (mètis) and frequently use mimesis as a means of bridging the gap with patients or hierarchical superiors. The author shows how these tales function as part of the defence strategies set in place by carers as they carry out their work. She compares and contrasts this with defence strategies used in high risk ‘male’ occupations which call upon gender stereotyped virility, while the stories described here are more generally used by groups of female carers, who do not forasmuch consider them to be an expression of femininity. Self-derision is a means of deflating the Ego, thereby allowing carers to confront the real and leave plenty of room for others to exist.


Molinier, Sociology, Psychology, Psychodynamics, Care, Care Work, Care As Work, Ethics, Nurse, Nursing, Hospital Work, Invisible Work, Emotional Labour, Female Work, Women'S Work, Gendered Labour, Invisible Skills, Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis


Molinier, Pascale, Psychological Centrality of Work

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