Care and gendered work in reception centers in Finland
Jyrkinen, Marjut; Väkiparta, Maria; Lämsä, Anna-Maija (2020). Care and gendered work in reception centers in Finland. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, 39 (2), 166-180. DOI: 10.1108/EDI-10-2018-0192
Published inEquality, Diversity and Inclusion
© Emerald Publishing Limited 2020
Purpose: This paper focuses on how gendered processes of working life are (re)constructed and are also challenged discursively in paid and volunteer care and work in reception centers. The purpose of this paper is to show how caring work with asylum seekers can both enhance the traditional gender order and challenge it through enabling men to have opportunities to care. Design/methodology/approach: The data were produced through qualitative interviews among paid workers and volunteers in reception centers, and analyzed through a discourse analysis approach. Findings: Three discourses of care and work were identified: a discourse on solidarity and care; a discourse on control and order; and a discourse on caring men. The findings show that traditional attitudes toward gender are easily discerned in other cultures, but not as easily recognized in the everyday processes near at hand. Gender order is retained through traditional roles, which also reflects conventional attitudes in a society often seen as a model country for equality. However, change is possible, and one core issue is the need to involve men in care work and caring in general. Social implications: The findings can be applicable to the deconstruction of traditional gender order in working life; to the disclosure of gendered xenophobia in work with asylum seekers, in particular through dialogue with “Others”; and to the enabling of care by men. Originality/value: Little previous research has been done on care in reception centers and care as a gendered activity with value. In the future many countries are likely to encounter increases in asylum seekers, and therefore, intersections of gender and ethnicity are of importance in societies as regards migration, work and care. ...
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- Kauppakorkeakoulu 
Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Strategic research programmes, AoF
Additional information about fundingThe research is funded by Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland (292883).
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